Excess Noise Knowledge Base

Definitions for those who work in communications and perception

Psychographic Analysis

Psychographic analysis is the deepest level of communications and perception analysis. Psychographic analysis is analysis relative to quantified human emotions. Granted, at times it is easy to deceptively appear stereotypical but this is not the case. Take for instance pasta. If you were do engage in a psychographic analysis of Italians and pasta, you’d be tempted to assume that most Italians like pasta, hence the probability that pasta is attractive to Italians. It is. This is fact. Italians consume 26 kg (about 57 lb.) of pasta annually. The next country is Venezuela — whose migrant population is heavily Italian — at half that: 13 kg. But not all traits are as evident. Will Italians purchase an orange shirt or a purple one? A good psychographic analysis will tell you, but it certainly won’t be as quick an answer as pasta.

Psychographic analysis rates how humans interpret, accept, reject and act upon elements of reality. Results are then quantified and databased according to selected parameters: geographic location, demographic criteria or point in time. Analysts can then use this database to rate specific messages.

Should we use a red car in an ad? For some red evokes blood, courage or strength while for others is stands for love or equality. Should we make the hotel lobby’s ceiling two meters or seven meters high? Some people prefer space, others confinement. Eating snails is fine in France, is it so in Philadelphia?

But to properly engage in psychographic analysis, one needs a psychographic database. These exist, we have our own, and they are worth their weight in gold. Knowing the color preferences of a population is far more difficult data to obtain than knowing their income or gender. Imagine looking for those who prefer cinnamon or prefer birds rather than fish as pets.

Being the most intricate of all forms of analysis, we have developed the CIS©, for Communications Impact Scale. This proprietary database is a unique set of benchmarks which assigns a positive or negative value to thousands of aspects, emotions and situations in life. The CIS is compiled from studies and surveys carried out worldwide with subjects from wide-ranging info-cultural environments. The CIS consolidates subjects’ opinions and preferences and uses these ratings as points of reference when evaluating messages and their components. How humans judge emotions, attitudes, stereotypes, aesthetic biases, needs and desires enables analysts to determine which elements of a message will enjoy a positive impact or suffer a negative one. If a message evokes jealousy, the CIS can determine how jealousy will appeal to the chosen target group.

What makes the CIS so valuable is its use of the four filters. For instance, the CIS considers that hardwired elements such as the fear of fire, the need to reproduce, the fear of crocodiles, the dislike of lightning or the appreciation of sunrise apply to all humans regardless of race, culture or origins. Culture-based elements such as choice of music, style of dress or culinary preference, on the other hand, relate to the imprinting filter. Ambient realities are interference. And, the consequences of a choice are effect.

When elements apply to several filters, the CIS rates them and weighs them accordingly.

The CIS is in constant evolution. It seeks to lessen the uncertainty factor of less universal human characteristics, emotions and situations of life.

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This glossary of definitions is not intended as an academic reference. It is an exercise in thinking on our part. We hope to grow it and welcome any suggestions you may have.