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Interviews: Narrating Reality Experienced

Often thought of as a basic technique, interviews are often done as open questionnaires, with the interviewer wanting the interviewee to reveal their habits, behavior and reasons for doing things.

This is based upon the erroneous postulate of a purely rational individual. We would do well to remember that the humanities (sociology, anthropology, psychology, psychoanalysis…) demonstrated long ago the weight of the irrational, the imagined, the emotional and even the unconscious.

So don’t count too much on consumers to tell you the truth when talking about habits and behaviors… “Know Thyself” is not a fact, but a tricky act of faith. Most of the time, consumers take a “rationalizing” stance ill-suited to introspection. Only rarely do they challenge these foundations, because doing so raises the specter of self-doubt and uncertainty.

For The New Anthropology, interviews are done in narrative mode alone (because explanation-driven interviews become self-controlled and censored) optimized by gentle conversational hypnosis techniques. During the interview, the interviewee does not explain, but just tells as a way of letting go. By this, she emotionally relives her habits and decisions. And her words, vocabulary and language reveal her emotional reality.