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Projective and enabling techniques

A wide range of tasks and games in which respondents can be asked to participate during an interview or group, designed to facilitate, extend or enhance the nature of the discussion. Some are known as 'projective' techniques, being loosely based on approaches originally taken in a psychotherapeutic setting. These rely on the idea that someone will 'project' their own (perhaps unacceptable or shameful) feelings or beliefs onto an imaginary other person or situation. In practice, many techniques used in commercial research do not rely on this idea. They do, however, present alternative modes of expression, or tap into different ways of thinking for respondents.

What these techniques have in common is that they enable participants to say more about the research subject than they can say spontaneously, accessing thoughts, feelings or meanings which are not immediately available. The adapted Johari window gives a simple model of the different kinds of material that such techniques can access.

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