This video introduces the distinctions between behavioral and attitudinal research. Behavioral research is any research in which you directly observe or monitor participants’ actions, and attitudinal research refers to research where you’re asking for respondent’s opinions.
- The next distinction in research types is that between Behavioral and Attitudinal Research. At its core, Behavioral Research is that in which you observe the actions that a person takes, whereas Attitudinal Research refers to asking people about their opinions. Ethnographic studies, usability studies, A/B tests, and eye tracking studies are all examples of Behavioral Research methods. Things like surveys, focus groups, and preference tests are examples of Attitudinal Research. There are some methodologies that end up being a blend of observation and discussion.
For instance, you might run a usability test where you observe a user interact with a piece of software, which is Behavioral Research. But then you might also ask them several interview questions about why they decided to purchase something, or what they except from a future version, which is more Attitudinal data. UX professionals tend to rely more heavily on Behavioral Research because many times, what people report in Attitudinal Research does not match what they actually end up doing in Behavioral Research. For instance, you might ask someone what they plan to buy on a trip to the grocery store, and they might report that they're going to buy, say, paper towels and bananas; however, if you monitor their receipts, you may find that they actually also purchased ice cream and chips.
That's not to say Attitudinal Research isn't helpful. It's important for a company to know when a user's expectations don't match their behavior, how users perceive different brands, how users expect something to work, or their outlook on potential features. For instance, you could conduct an Attitudinal method like a survey that asks people to list the top three things they'd change about your product. And you might uncover that a huge percentage of your user base desires a specific feature that doesn't yet exist. Observing how they interact with the existing product may not have given you that insight.
Again, both Attitudinal and Behavioral Research are very important in different contexts.
This course introduces the fundamentals of user experience research so that anyone can understand the benefits and start integrating research into their everyday design and development process. Start watching to learn how to use UX research to find the answers to the most basic questions about your customers—who, what, when, why, and how—and drive better user experiences and business outcomes.
- An overview of research methods, including usability testing, interviewing, eye tracking, surveys, and many more
- A review of the main types of research, including quantitative and qualitative, behavioral and attitudinal, and moderated vs. unmoderated
- Determining the right methodologies based on organizational environment, client type, and project stage
- Targeting the right research participants
- Crafting the right questions in the right way
- Analyzing and presenting your data