What is Implicit Reaction Time?

Implicit Reaction Time (IRT) is a neuroscience solution that measures the closeness of association between an object (e.g. a brand/cause/event/person/concept) and attributes or aspects of that object (e.g. intelligent, good tasting, preferred brand, etc.) to reveal the strength of belief, perception or commitment.

What can it deliver?

IRT can reveal the attributes associated with brands and concepts, as well as the strength of belief, i.e. not just whether participants think a brand is environmentally friendly, but also how deeply held that belief is. This has uses in many areas in both the public and private sector, such as brand tracking, ad pre-testing, concept testing, reputational research, and understanding differentiating perceptions of organisation or brands.

IRT can expose beliefs and associations that participants may be unwilling or unable to share via traditional survey based research. It is, therefore, well-suited to unpick prejudice or taboo topics.

Who do I contact?

Eleanor Thornton-Firkin
Eleanor.Thornton-Firkin@ipsos.com
07795 334 910

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 More about Implicit Reaction Time

Based on the scientific principle of perceptual fluency, IRT reveals the strength of participants’ unconscious associations by using response time to measure the distance between two concepts within a neural network.

The closer the association between two concepts, the more conviction we have and the more quickly and easily we are able to respond.  When things are not closely associated, response times are slow, because it takes more time for us to reconcile or work out the relationship between the two concepts. Speed of response is individually calibrated for each participant to account for differences in processing and response time between individuals.

Case studies

Evaluating the effect of an ad on brand perceptions, Kenco: Coffee vs. Gangs, facial coding and IRT

Understanding the public’s commitment to voting in a general election

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