Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The mystery of our motivations

“You get a focus group together and you ask them which toothpaste they use,” [Republican consultant Mike] Murphy told me, “and they say, Crest. And you ask them, ‘Is it because of the ads?’

“‘Oh no, of course not!’ they say. ‘I never listen to ads. Ads don’t affect me. I make up my own mind.’

“‘Oh, OK, so why do you use Crest?’

“‘Because four out of five dentists recommend it!’ ”
--Matt Bai, NYT, on the limits of self reports of motivation

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