Why do people say one thing and do something else? Are they pathological liars?
No, not exactly.
Colin Shaw, a business consultant, used the surprising outcome of the British Parliamentary election earlier this year as an example. All polling prior to the election were forecasting a tight race (no majority) but the outcome was a Conservatives landslide.
What happened? Colin gave three plausible reasons. I paraphrased them below along with my thoughts:
- Human beings are complex and hard to understand – Bingo! No polling or computer or any other measurement technology can predict human behavior with absolute certainty. Not today or anytime soon. Too many variables at play. At best, we get an approximation.
- Human left brain and right brain operate differently, the dominant half of the brain at the moment drives our behavior – logic and emotions tug-of-war is a common human experience. For example: eat that burger versus the salad would depend on how you feel at the moment. Colin accurately pointed out that majority of the time our emotion trumps our logics. And the advertisers know it.
- Sampling technique is outdated – this is a no brainer. If the data collection tool technique is off, the results will be skewed. In the British survey, pollsters used home phone number vice mobile number to survey potential British voters. In today’s environment that is just out of touch with reality. If anything, we should at least try to get the best approximation possible.
For the full article: 3 Reasons Why People Say One Thing and Do Another | Colin Shaw | LinkedIn.