What is perception testing?

At Secure Perception Research Ltd. perception testing means using the latest science to accurately measure people’s perception of your products. It's about going beyond traditional market research: We don't just ask people questions and get their verbal responses, we also measure their behavioural responses. We get people interacting with your products and provide you with quantified, concrete information about how your product is performing.

More than just questions and answers: We get the information that people aren't able to articulate, the thoughts and motivations that drive product preference, choice and behaviours.

The Science

Scientifically speaking, perception is what the brain ‘thinks’ is out there in the world.  Every waking minute, the brain is rapidly and dynamically constructing a ‘view’ of the world so that people can interact fluidly with their environment, predict what will happen next, and plan their behaviour. The brain uses sensory information as its ‘raw material’ but uses expectation, knowledge, memory, and emotion to modify sensory input and to determine what a person actually experiences. It is this modified, constructed view of the world that people use to guide their actions and decisions. Perception testing is designed to measure the constructed view of products, not their physical characteristics. What people perceive is inferred from how they behave and, in some cases, from their brain activity.
The point is that the brain is not a camera or a computer. Placing information (a mark, security feature, design element, etc.) on a document or product does not mean that users are guaranteed to perceive or use it. This can only be assessed by measuring perception

  • Signal Detection Analysis
  • Mental Chronometry
  • EEG
  • fMRI
  • Tactility
  • Eye Tracking
  • Emotional Response

Perception Testing in Practise

Why measure behaviour instead of simply asking people questions? Two reasons:

1. People are limited in the ideas that they can articulate. For example, if you ask somebody to describe how they tie their shoelaces, they will be likely to struggle to provide you with a clear answer. However, if you ask them to show you, it will be a straightforward process.

2. Asking a direct question makes people consider their preferences or behaviour in a conscious way. But in the real world preferences and decisions are driven by unconscious processes. You need to find out their real motivations and preferences, unfiltered by rationalizations

How do we measure behaviour? We have a large toolkit of techniques that we can employ depending on which is the most appropriate for your particular question.

Using careful experimental design and cutting-edge techniques means that we can accurately answer your research questions, in a way that gauges real responses, not just those that people can or want to tell you about