Thursday, January 26, 2017

Liars and Cheaters and Bears…Oh My! How to Recruit Quality Participants for Qual Studies

Incentives paid to participants for qualitative research can be quite generous. Of course, that is what is intended in paying people for their time. Incentives help facilitate the recruiting process as its
attractiveness in amounts motivates participants to:

  • Show up at the right place at the right time
  • Provide their opinions to the people that are paying for the research who really need their help
  • Be articulate, creative, focused, open and honest
  • Cooperate in a manner that makes for a positive experience for everyone involved

But incentives can be a double-edged sword.  While they may be the impetus to participate in qualitative research, some people may try to do anything they can to qualify for studies so that they can reap the benefits of the incentive provided.

Of course, participants must be screened and qualified in order to be invited to a study. Sometimes, the potential participant will try to psych out the recruiter by trying to answer screening questions in a manner that gets them qualified, regardless of whether their answers are truthful. In essence, they will lie, cheat, and do whatever it takes to “get the study.”

Therefore, in order to ensure quality participants, the recruiter must be on his or her game at all times. You see, the recruiter is the last line of defense on behalf of the client (moderator) who has hired them to compile a list of qualified participants. Imagine if the recruiter simply went through the motions in the job of recruiting, paying no mind to the possibility that candidates may be lying.  The participant recruited under false pretenses will probably not have a clue about the subject matter and, having faked their way into the study, really has nothing to offer the moderator or his/her client in terms of opinions from which insights are culled.

At Accelerant Research, our team of recruiters are well trained to be sensitive to these conditions of lying and faking, and require all potential participants to provide anecdotes and even artifacts (photos, etc.) to validate their usage of or experience with the study topic. We pay close attention to their “stories” and probe them to clarify or expand their answers. In the end, we provide quality recruits that are both qualified and articulate.

We invite you to request a cost estimate from us as a first step. Simply give us a call (704-206-8500) or send us an email ( If we are granted the opportunity to work with you, we are confident that the quality of recruiting service you receive will be a marked improvement. 

Good luck and safe travels.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Qualitative Recruitment for Neuro Research Studies

Neuro research studies have grown in popularity over the past several years, and for many good reasons that center on enabling marketers to collect data based on involuntary human responses that are not subject to the traditional error sources of market research such as social desirability, telescoping, memory decay, and others.  While many neuro-type studies also include traditional forms of inquiry, such as survey items and open-ended questions, they are usually focused on eye-tracking, facial expression coding, EEG analysis, and the like.  But like any market research study, either traditional in methodology, or more cutting edge, the success of these studies is based, in large part, on the quality of participants.  As such, quality recruitment is paramount to ensuring that quality data are collected. 

Often times these studies are conducted in store, where aisles stocked with products of interest are available to serve as test stimuli to which participants respond and react, and quantitative data and their measurements are obtained.  Other times, these studies are carried out at facilities where another form of in-person data collection is carried out.

Regardless of the venue, setting, and other study-specific variants, participants need to be recruited.  In that recruiting process, the laws of good market research practices must prevail by instituting special quality control measures such as:

  • Having live discussions between recruiters and potential participants
  • Assessing screening-related criteria for qualification
  • Spotting gamers, cheaters, and others who try to deceive recruiters in order to be chosen for paid-participation studies
  • Providing logistical information such as date, time, address, of where data are collected
  • Explaining parking conditions, materials needed, form of incentive payment
  • Preparing participants for what to expect in the research, as some of the devices and techniques can be intimidating to participants without the proper ‘heads up’

Neuro studies are neither above nor outside the laws of good market research practices.  Rather they are no different than traditional focus groups, IDIs, in-home ethnographies, and other purer forms of qualitative research.  Neuro-researchers have enough to do in running their studies and managing their clients.  The last thing they want to do is worry about the quality of recruitment, no-shows, screener mess-ups, and poor communications of dates, times, places, and all other related logistical problems.

We invite you to request a cost estimate from us as a first step.  Simply give us a call (704-206-8500) or send us an email (  If we are granted the opportunity to work with you, we are confident that the quality of service you receive will be a marked improvement. 

Good luck and safe travels.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Labor Day 2016 Survey Results

Leveraging its proprietary Agora USA online research panel (, Accelerant Research polled 3,702 Americans about their Labor Day Weekend activities.  Click the graphic below for survey results.

For more information about Accelerant's quantitative and qualitative research services, please go to