Implicit Association Testing


Forced Choice Online Test: Unveiling the unconscious preferences of humans

Understand implicit associations and preferences of your customers that drive important decisions towards your brand, service, or product

The Forced Choice Online Test is a method that forces participants to consecutively decide between two options within a very short time frame. They must decide intuitively and repeatedly about their preference when confronted with two options over and over again. This approach provides a more realistic and puristic insight into preferences and associations of participants towards brands, services, products or even features. We also use this method to identify and visualize implicit attitudes towards presented contents, attributions or characteristics.

With this method we not only derive which option is unconsciously preferred by customers but also what they implicitly relate with e.g., a brand. As a result of the Forced Choice Online Test, preferences are often ranked and compared with one another to show what really is important to customers. The approach therefore can be supportive in prioritizing product / feature development and budget allocations, too.

The Forced Choice Online Test can be applied to various use cases such as:

  • Prioritization of product features and ideas based on customers’ unbiased preferences
  • Understanding the target group’s unconscious drivers in decision-making
  • Human-centered budget and resource allocation based on what customers really enjoy

Moreover, the Forced Choice Online Testing provides various advantages:

  • Implicit detection of values without detour through verbalization
  • Avoidance of biases (e.g. social desirability, tendency towards the center)
  • Captures unconscious information that cannot be captured by explicit research methods
  • High data quality is ensured due to objective quality measures 
  • Can be applied anywhere, anytime via remote testing

Did you know that the split between left-brained and right-brained persons is outdated?

There is no reliable evidence for the division of the brain into analytical and creative hemispheres. There are no left or right brain personality types. Rather, scientists speak of System 1 and System 2 brain functions or fast thinking vs. slow thinking. Whereas slow thinking is responsible for our conscious, rational, and intentional decision-making, fast thinking takes over when we act unconsciously, emotionally, and instinctively. Fast thinking brings us through our day while slow thinking is activated when we intentionally think about something. Since the latter demands for more brain resources, we tend to avoid it when we can. But this is also the part that is activated when we fill in questionnaires or are explicitly asked to reply to a conversation – e.g. when we think about the socially adequate answer. Yet, this is unnatural in real life situations. This is why the Forced Choice Online Test triggers the fast thinking brain functions to dig into the unconscious preferences of participants – without leaving room for deliberate thinking. 

At the Deloitte Neuroscience Institute, we use implicit online tests such as the forced choice test to unveil unconscious decision drivers, attitudes and associations. With this method, DNI provides a leap into a human-centric future for our clients.