These days, although we still use the traditional qual methods that underpin good practice, we also incorporate the best of the new and emerging methodologies and ways of thinking. We interview and observe people in more places, doing more things, and talk to them on more topics and in different ways than we used to. We also think differently about what they tell us, because of the great progress that has been made in cognitive psychology and neuroscience.
The fundamental behavioural economics (BE) premise is that – from an economic perspective - human decision-making is often irrational. Behavioural economists talk about our cognitive biases, our use of emotion in decision-making and the way that we are, often unconsciously, influenced by context and social forces.
In her recent blog post, Sue raised some interesting questions about the gaps in our knowledge about online discussion groups. Specifically:
- When people participate in online groups, are they presenting the ‘real them’, or are they projecting a persona?
- If participants are projecting a persona online, what skills do online moderators need in order to manage or see beyond that persona?