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Motivational research is a type of marketing research that attempts to explain why consumers behave as they do. Motivational research seeks to discover and comprehend what consumers do not fully understand about themselves. Motivational research attempts to identify forces and influences that consumers may not be aware of (e.g., cultural factors, sociological forces). Typically, these unconscious motives (or beyond-awareness reasons) are intertwined with and complicated by conscious motives, cultural biases, economic variables, and fashion trends (broadly defined). Motivational research attempts to sift through all of these influences and factors to unravel the mystery of consumer behavior as it relates to a specific product or service, so that the marketer better understands the target audience and how to influence that audience.Motivational research is most valuable when powerful underlying motives are suspected of exerting influence upon consumer behavior. Products and services that relate, or might relate, to attraction of the opposite sex, to personal adornment, to status or self-esteem, to power, to death, to fears, or to social taboos are all likely candidates for motivational research.
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