CSIRO is currently creating technology that could one day assist market researchers in dealing with self-report bias. In a nutshell, CSIRO is designing software that allows computers to accurately identify human emotions in facial expressions, even micro-expressions (which may only be present for 1/15 of a second on the participant’s face). Already the software shows potential with its accuracy, and as technology advances, it can only become more precise.
Humans are very skilled at recognising facial expressions; we do it subconsciously in every interaction we have. At the same time, we send out our own signals to others – whether intentional or involuntary. It is the involuntary expressions that may be of most interest to the market research industry.
Machines detecting even the slightest expression may help relieve doubts of self-report bias (social desirability, a tendency to agree, leniency or harshness etc.). Another approach to add to the industry toolbox, keep an eye on this!