March 5-6, 2019

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System 1: Beyond the Flashy Shiny Things

The idea of System 1 thinking – thinking that is fast, automatic, less conscious – has taken hold in the world of market research and insights. We’ve read Blink, Nudge and Thinking Fast and Slow. An increasing number of tools are available to assess System 1 thinking. Often aided by sophisticated technology, many of these tools promise a direct pipeline to consumers’ thoughts, telling you things about consumers that they can’t tell you themselves. While some of these tools provide additional useful data, there is more to System 1 than we capture using fancy tools. Leveraging theories, frameworks and research findings from fields such as psychology and behavioral economics can facilitate an understanding of aspects of consumers’ thoughts and behaviors that are influenced by System 1 thinking.

In this talk, we will share some basic principles related to System 1 thinking. We will provide examples of how we have leveraged these principles to get greater insight into consumer behavior.

Presentation type:

  • Best Practice Workshop

Subjects covered:

  • Behavioral economics
  • Industry trends – future of marketing research
  • New techniques – qualitative and quantitative


  1. Understanding some of the basic ideas from psychology about System 1 thinking.
  2. How to evaluate tools that purport to measure System 1 thinking.
  3. How to leverage research on System 1 without relying on expensive measurement approaches.


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