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UX and the Future of Personalization

ux / user experience / conferences / eye tracking / cognitive research / featured
Earlier this month, several FMG researchers attended the User Experience DC (UXDC) Conference hosted by the DC Chapter of the User Experience Professionals Association (UXPA). Fors Marsh Group Presents at UXDC 2017 One of the presentations I attended was John Whalen’s talk titled, "The Future of UX is here: AI and Cognitive Design." In his talk, Dr. Whalen discussed artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and augmented cognition, with the fundamental point that as these technologies emerge, user experience research needs to expand on traditional usability testing and design thinking to ensure a user-centered design. One takeaway from the session was that command styles vary widely when users interact with... more
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Tried and True Innovation: Highlights from NCHCMM 2016

communication / research / conferences / featured / social marketing / public health
Last week several members of the FMG Team traveled to Atlanta, GA for the 10th Annual National Conference on Health Communication, Marketing and Media (NCHCMM). This was the third year that FMG attended the conference, and as in the past, had a chance to walk away with lessons learned and best practices from communicators and scientists.  NCHCMM 10th Anniversary One of my favorite conference sessions featured panel members: Dr. Lenora Johnson, Tony Foleno, Dr. Gary Kreps, and Dr. Heather Cole-Lewis reflecting on the past 10 years and speculating what the next 10 will bring. Most notably, in the last 10 years there’s been a substantial shift in the way we communicate. For instance,... more
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Why Scientists and Communicators Can't Just Co-Exist, We Need to Co-Create: Takeaways from NCHCMM

behavioral research / conferences / featured / blog / health research

Last week, our Communication Research team attended the National Conference on Health Communication, Marketing, and Media in Atlanta, GA. As speakers reminded us that we were there "to move the needle," I was reminded of Captain Planet. Hey, the mind works in mysterious ways. My biggest takeaway from the conference was more an observation. A path forward. A commitment to combining powers. More specifically, the conference brought together communicators and researchers - all working toward common goals and bringing something unique to the table that alone isn't nearly as powerful - but often the two seemed to be two sides to the same coin, never meeting. I heard communicators. I heard scientists. I heard communicators playing the role of scientists and... more

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The Role of Political Geography for Meaningful Data Visualization

featured / economics / data visualization / conferences
Map I recently attended the inaugural edition of the Harvard Meeting on Political Geography sponsored by the Harvard Institute for Quantitative Social Science. The goal of the meeting was to gather leading scholars in the field and allow them to share their cutting-edge research with one another. Presenters included political scientists and practitioners, and the topics varied from voting in South Africa to the role of infrastructure on democratic representation. The papers can all be found here. The keynote speaker was geographer Kirk Goldsberry. He discussed the concepts of thinking spatially and made an argument that maps are themselves an analytical tool. He also emphasized the idea that although maps have been around... more
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Top Five Takeaways from AAPOR 2015

featured / survey research / conferences / quality control
Last week I attended the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) Annual Conference for the first time. These are my top 5 takeaways:
  1. AAPOR is a strong association and conference. Perhaps this goes without saying but it is not the case with all organizations. AAPOR members are dedicated to their industry and passionate about research. This is also how we approach the field at FMG and it is nice to spend time with like-minded industry colleagues. The amount of work that volunteers have put into making AAPOR a strong association is a testament to the quality of membership. With significant threats to the current practice of survey methodology such as non-response, AAPOR is tackling these issues head on and... more
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Learning About the Big Picture - Tackling Economic Challenges at the Micro Level

featured / economics / consumer behavior / conferences
When I tell people that I have a Ph.D. in economics, I get all kinds of responses. One of my favorites has been, "Oh, home economics?" "Yeah, you look like you'd be an artist or something." That said, one of the most common responses I get is, ‘Why would you want to study something so difficult and boring?" - although they usually try to phrase it more diplomatically. I take that as my cue to launch into some explanation/apology about loving math and how actually economics incorporates lots of interesting ideas and at its core is nothing more than studying how people make choices. And if you happen to love overanalyzing things, perhaps you will agree with me that there is nothing more interesting than... more
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Fors Marsh Group Customer Loyalty Team Awarded 2015 SIOP Wiley Award

customer loyalty / conferences / io psychology / featured / news
February 27, 2015 –Fors Marsh Group’s GSA Customer Loyalty team members were recently awarded the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP) Wiley Award for Excellence in Survey Research for their work on the General Services Administration’s (GSA) Federal Acquisition Service (FAS) Customer Loyalty Study (CLS). Recipients include Brian Griepentrog, Joseph Luchman, Sarah Keaton, Sean Marsh, Ronald Vega, and Kara Marsh. The SIOP Wiley Award for Excellence in Survey Research recognizes excellence and innovation in the design of employee or customer survey research methods or techniques, and also the use of survey results to impact organizational effectiveness and performance. As a whole, the GSA FAS CLS was an ideal candidate given its foundation in scientific survey methods, use of a well-designed and... more
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Shock to the (Stable) System - Applying Dynamics to Smokeless Tobacco Use

communication research / public health / tobacco / conferences / featured
This past weekend at the Western Communication Association Convention in Spokane, WA, a colleague of mine, Josh Nelson, presented a paper titled, Toward the Scientific Study of Dynamic Communication Processes. Along with Josh, Professor John Sherry, and Esther Paik, I was fortunate enough to be one of the paper's co-authors, and I have been thinking quite a bit about what this paper can offer applied researchers and practitioners. Although the paper is primarily theoretical, its ideas offer some food for thought when approaching public health issues. As with any applied endeavor, before translating the paper's ideas into practice, some explanation is needed. What are dynamics? Dynamics refer broadly to phenomena that display time-changing patterns—in other words, dynamic processes are those that... more
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Economic Voting in Developing Democracies Workshop at the University of São Paulo

economics / voting / conferences / featured
I was fortunate enough to receive an invitation to this recent workshop on economic voting in developing democracies held in São Paulo, Brazil. The workshop brought together a number of international researchers focusing on the phenomenon of economic voting in developing countries. Much of the work presented employed public opinion data on why and how citizens in developing democracies vote. The workshop was hosted by the University of São Paulo which is a leading South American University in many fields, including political science. Economic Voting Workshop Brazil The term economic voting can generally be described as voters rewarding or punishing incumbents based on economic performance. The 1992 U.S. presidential election is a notable... more
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How Behavioral Economics Can Help You Keep Your New Year's Resolutions

featured / behavior economics / conferences / featured
Behavioral economics is a branch of economics that takes into account the seemingly irrational aspects of human behavior. Instead of treating people like robots that never make mistakes and always choose the best options, this line of research takes into account the apparent inconsistencies of our decisions. As anyone who has ever tried to change their decision-making patterns knows, it is not always easy to commit to behaviors that we know will improve our lives and lead to better long-term outcomes or goals. In a recent talk titled "Tackling Temptation," Professor Katherine Milkman outlined some of the findings of her behavioral economics research and how those insights can be put to use by both individuals and policymakers.
  1. Temptations? Bundle them... more
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National Communication Association Turns 100 - Notes on Message Design

communication research / conferences / featured
The National Communication Association (NCA), one of the primary associations in the field of communication, held its 100th annual conference on November 20th-23rd in Chicago—the site of the very first annual convention. Each year, thousands of researchers, teachers, and practitioners come together to discuss theoretical and applied research problems that communication scholars currently face. Among a sea of interesting research presentations, the conference offered some key takeaways regarding how we present messages about health and risk: National Communication Association 100 Years Numerical presentation of risk—the type of presentation matters. In our day-to-day activities, we often come across messages that tell us about the likelihood of some negative outcome happening to us, and the same type... more
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At APHA, We Are Reminded Why We Do Public Health

featured / communication research / public health / conferences
Wednesday marked the close of the American Public Health Association's (APHA's) Annual Meeting and Exposition, and what a fantastic several days it was. In excess of 12,000 attendees, nearly 500 exhibitors, more than 1,000 sessions (30+ sessions in the health communication section alone), and one take-home message to sum it up: Never lose sight of why we do what we do. APHA 2014 Why public health? Answers to this question were at every turn this week, before even arriving at the conference. Reagan airport was covered in reminders that "health is everything," as though CVS knew we were coming. I loved the phrase when CVS unveiled its new branding, and it rings true every time I see... more
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Looking Back on ADWKDC 2014

featured / advertising research / arlington dc / conferences
It’s been just over one week since ADWKDC wrapped up and I’m still thinking about all of the great panel discussion and presentations I saw. Sarah Evans and I joined a few hundred of the Washington, DC area’s advertisers and marketer’s for the 11th annual event hosted by the DC Ad Club and came back with plenty to share with the office. Just like our time at the National Conference on Health Communication, Marketing, and Media in Atlanta a month ago ( see Sarah’s blog post here), storytelling was a big theme. Here are a few tidbits everyone can apply to storytelling that stuck with us:
  1. Make it personal. &pizza co-founder and President Michael Lastoria... more
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To change health behavior, tell a story- Lessons from the National Conference on Health Communication, Marketing, and Media

featured / health research / public health / behavioral research / conferences
Last week, our team attended the National Conference on Health Communication, Marketing, and Media in Atlanta. This year’s conference theme was “what’s your story?” and the focus was on learning how to best incorporate stories into health communication. Storytelling is one of the earliest forms of communication, and incorporating it in your marketing can have a powerful influence on behavior change. NCHCMM So, what was our story at the conference? I presented on Indirect Marketing and Youth Smoking Intentions as part of the Quantitative Audience Research to Inform Youth-Related Public Health Communication and Policy breakout session, and we were busy as a conference sponsor and exhibitor. Not too busy, of course, to attend some... more
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Into the hot zone of Hotlanta - What Ebola at Emory can teach us about risk perceptions

featured / health research / public health / behavioral research / conferences / blog
Our team spent the past few days at the CDC National Conference on Health Communication, Marketing and Media in Atlanta - and no, we did not catch Ebola. Many people asked me if I was worried about going to Atlanta. Based on the news coverage, I’m not surprised. But perspectives from medical experts suggested there really wasn't a risk at all (in fact, thankfully, both patients were released from the hospital this week). What gives? What gives is a common challenge in risk communication - a discrepancy between expert and layperson perceptions of risk. More specifically, lay person evaluations of risks are often predicted by affective and subjective components of risk whereas experts tend to evaluate risks (at least within their personal field of... more
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FMG Heads to 122nd American Psychological Association (APA) Conference in DC

conferences / military research / recruiting
Tomorrow kicks off the start of the 122nd Annual American Psychological Association (APA) Convention in Washington, DC. The conference runs from August 7-10 and offers an ideal opportunity for professionals across fields of psychology to attend over 87 continuing education workshops, connect with colleagues at social hours, discuss projects with poster presenters and learn from panelists at sessions. APA 122nd Conference This year, Fors Marsh Group will be represented by Dr. Jen Gibson, Dr. Sarah Evans, and Ron Vega. If you are attending, make sure to join Jen and Sarah at their paper session entitled: New Perspectives on Military Recruiting and Training, which takes place on Saturday, August 9, at 9am. Ron will present a poster, “Parenting Style... more
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Conference Season Not About to Slow Anytime Soon – Looking Ahead to Fall

ux / conferences / usability
On July 22 and 23, Fors Marsh Group sponsored and attended the DC Chapter of the American Association of Public Opinion Research (DC AAPOR) Summer Conference. In addition to poster presentations, there were three panels that provided some great information worth sharing. The first panel focused on incentives and adaptive design, in which the speakers discussed new findings, such as the fact that a $5 dollar incentive results in a 16% increase in response rate compared to no incentive at all. That number increases to 22% with a $10 dollar incentive. In other words, spending money up front to incentivize your respondents to complete the survey leads to a dramatic increase in response rate, and the more you incentivize, the better response you’ll... more
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What’s in a Name? Highlights from 23rd Social Marketing (Not Media!) Conference

featured / conferences / social marketing / blog
Something I love about social marketing is that it frames difficult challenges in a manner that encourages optimism, energy, and action. One challenge that seems to generate more frustration than optimism though is the common mix-up of social marketing with social media (or social media marketing). In fact, last week’s 23rd Social Marketing Conference was kicked off with a tongue-in-cheek disclaimer: if you’re here to learn about social media, you’ll be disappointed (Get out. Just kidding. But, seriously). Despite the angst over the confusion, social marketing does use social media as a tool. Which got me curious – what were social marketers abuzz about on social media during the conference last week? Twitter Topics at USFmore
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FMG Heads to the 69th AAPOR Conference in Anaheim

conferences / public opinion / research design / news
Arlington, Virginia – May 14, 2014 –FMG employees will head to Anaheim for the 69th American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) Conference at the Anaheim Marriott. This year's theme is “Measurement and the Role of Public Opinion in a Democracy.” The AAPOR conference features cutting-edge educational sessions, in-depth short courses, informal access to leaders in the field, and an informative exhibit hall with representatives from key service and product providers. For those headed to AAPOR, keep your eye out for FMG’s poster sessions and paper presentations: Eye Tracking the User Experience of a Smartphone and Web Data Collection Tool Jennifer Romano Bergstrom, Fors Marsh Group Michael Link, The Nielsen Company Kelly Bristol, The Nielsen Company The Impact of Deadlines on the Effectiveness of Incentives... more
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Going out on the proverbial legal ledge: using social media for applicant screening

behavioral research / conferences / social media research / blog
The growth and acceptance of social media sites across generations has been well-documented. Given the popularity of Facebook and Twitter and the unfiltered type and amount of information that individuals post about themselves, it is not surprising that some businesses view social media as a quick and inexpensive way to learn additional information about and potentially screen applicants (1). While businesses are hoping to get an unfiltered picture of their applicants, they might also be getting information unrelated to the job that could lead to illegal employment decisions. That is, U.S. Federal law prohibits businesses from making employment decisions that discriminate against individuals of certain protected classes: race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information (2). Businesses... more
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The Most Wonderful Time of the Year - Conference Season

conferences / current events / usability / user experience / company events / blog
April is a really exciting month as it kicks off the start of the busy conference season and plenty of speaking engagements. My calendar seems pretty booked and I am excited to meet new people and talk about UX with others in the DC/NoVa area, and at conferences across the country. Here is a brief rundown of what’s to come – hope to see you at a few: Tuesday, April 8 - DC Web Women’s Code(Her) Workshop Series: I will be teaching about integrating usability testing methods in development. This should be eye-opening and encourage lots of conversation because many people do not even know that they can or should test their products even as early as during the coding stage. (David discussed this last... more
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UX Resolutions for 2014: Become a UX 'Champion'

conferences / market research / usability / user experience / blog
I attended UXCampDC on Jan 4, which was a new style of conference for me. There was no pre-planned schedule. I had no idea who I was going to hear speak (or if I would give a presentation) and what I was going to learn about. There was a board with time slots throughout the day, and people who were interested in speaking wrote their name and topic on a post-it note and posted it to a time slot. In the morning and after lunch, each speaker gave a 1-minute pitch about their talk so attendees had a little more information, and then we split up and went to the different talks. Some were planned – people had prepared slides and gave lecture-style talks... more
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