Sri Lanka’s Research Consultancy Bureau (RCB), led by well-known research personality Ravi Bamunusinghe, has announced a partnership with Sensory Logic, a US-based company, to introduce facial coding to Sri Lanka and India.
It is the first time that the concept is been brought to South Asia as a market research tool with the aid of the President of Sensory Logic, Dr. Dan Hill, and this is the first time the company is spreading as far as Asia, RCB said.
The research agency said Facial Coding or Facial Action Coding System (FACS) is a method ‘to taxonomize human facial expressions, originally developed by Dr. Paul Ekman and Wallace Friesen in 1978’. Charles Darwin was the first to pose the idea of analyzing emotions in a face. It is a common standard to systematically categorize the physical expression of emotions, and it has proven useful to psychologists, to animators and now to researchers, the company said.
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This method is now taken up in qualitative/quantitative research studies and used in research methods such as In-depth Interviews and Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) through the inclusion of Flip cameras to capture facial reactions. In addition, verbatim and ratings are typically recorded for comparison and insights, to be able to link facial coding results to them. This can give an insight to if and how a person emotes regarding a comment in order to discern the level of motivation, impact, and appeal, RCB said.
Dr. Dan Hill, Founder of Sensory Logic is the pioneering person who made use of this in the business world. He is a recognized authority on the role of emotions in consumer and employee behaviour with over a decade of experience in operating his scientific and emotional insights on research. Company’s unique research tool, facial coding, is highlighted in Malcolm Gladwell’s bestseller Blink and the former FOX TV show “Lie to Me."
During a recent trip to Minneapolis, USA, RCB Managing Director Ravi Bamunusinghe and RCB researchers met with Dr. Dan Hill and obtained a training programme on the introduction of research through Facial Coding in Sri Lanka and India together with Sensory Logic.
Mr. Bamunusinghe said he believes that the Sri Lankan culture is such that, obligation and courtesy play a priority in social situations therefore obtaining true reactions through facial expressions can be an effective tool in market research. “This system is a future means to finalise or implement advertising, packaging designs, concept evaluation, pay-off lines, co-operate messages and communication etc,” he noted.