Keppel Research uses Perception Analyzer™ (PA) Dial Score Methodology

The Perception Dial Analyzer™ (PA) dial technology system is a direct response driven computer technology that used input from focus group participants to:

  • Pinpoint areas of strength and weakness in specific video executions.
  • Provide instant second-by-second real time feedback on what participants are seeing.

The system provides each focus group participant with an 11 number (0 to 10) dial. Participants turn the dial, clockwise or counterclockwise on a continuing basis, to indicate positive or negative reactions to video stimuli. The computer cumulates the scores for each participant, and then creates a moving, horizontal like graph, which crosses the screen second by second superimposed on the video. The monitor seen by participants shows only the video. The monitor seen by the client in the viewing room shows the video plus the superimposed graph. The combination graph and video is simultaneously recorded to provide a permanent record of the graph.

The use of PA™ during the groups enables one to observe how participants viewed various segments without any bias caused by faulty recall or group interaction, since each participant judges the video as it "unfolds" without interacting with the moderator or with any other focus group participant.

In addition, it provides honest communications and full participation of the group through a non-verbal and anonymous feedback technique. This technique eliminates the bias and contamination that verbal exchanges or hand raising produce, especially when addressing sensitive material.

It enhances traditional verbal communication by adding both a visual component (the questions displayed for the participants and the results for the moderator) and a participation component (increased total group participation increases attention).

The system provides enhanced capabilities for questioning techniques in small group setting due to the unbiased nature of the dial communication process and the ability to see how individuals answer. In addition, most PA™ focus groups include a minimum of 18 to 20 participants in each session providing statistical validity of the quantitative data when four or more groups are conducted.

Traditional Focus Group Cautions

Traditional focus group findings cannot be directly extrapolated to the general population. They are designed to elicit initial reactions to a new product concept from a limited number of consumers, usually just 8-10. The interactions between participants and moderator, however, can provide rich and immediate insights into consumer motivations and perceptions of specific products, services or advertising claims and/or executions.

In spite of the very small sample size, focus groups can facilitate development of hypotheses and approaches that later can be the subject of quantitative testing. They are very valuable for "weeding out" poor ideas and can uncover new ideas or directions that enhance the prospect of product success. Comments consistently made by randomly selected group participants indicate areas that merit further research and discussions.

However, use of the Perception Dial Analyzer allows you to expand the qualitative advantages of focus groups by adding the quantitative power of this technology. This provides more valid results, in a shorter time period than you could ever get by conducting focus groups alone.