Session #8 - 3:45 – 4:40 pm


Unlike traditional qualitative methods, Psychoanalytics does not depend on what respondents say, and in fact is quite skeptical of consumers explaining why they do things. Most consumer behaviour is motivated at an unconscious level, and then, once a decision has been made, consumers create intellectual alibis for why they made that decision.Because people are not very good at understanding and articulating their motivations, we do not ask them.
Rather, Psychoanalytics uses projective techniques and psychoanalytic theory to understand how people think and make decisions. Not what they think, but how they think about it. We then put this into a multidimensional model or framework which explains the structure of how people think about a certain brand or product, and how they make decisions. Once this model is developed, it has the power to make predictions about consumer reactions to marketing initiatives. Not just now but in the future. Companies who build marketing programs based on what people already believe have a much higher prospect of success compared to those who appeal to rationality and do not address unconscious needs.

The presentation takes a case study on gambling and on-line dating and illustrates how unconscious motivations guide consumer behaviour. The mental model of how consumers think is presented. Lessons learned for marketing communications are included.
Thelma Beam
Psychoanalytics Expert, Research Strategy Group / Mind Meld Consulting Inc.
  • Thelma Beam is rsg's resident psychologist. She is also a Psychotherapist and Certified Hypnotherapist in private practice.  Thelma's area of expertise is Consumer Motivations, and she has developed the technique of Psychoanalytics to understand the unstated and unconscious needs of today’s consumers. She uses projective exercises, discourse analysis and psychoanalytic theory to understand consumer motivation at an unconscious level.
  • Areas of expertise are: Hierarchy of needs, imprinting, mental models, application of psychological theory to marketing issues, discourse analysis, analysis of projective exercises, unconscious programming, archetypes.
  • Thelma Beam is an MBA (York University) and holds a Specialist Psychology undergraduate degree from the University of Toronto. She trained as a psychotherapist (Centre for Training in Psychotherapy) and as a Regression Therapist (Professional Institute for Regression Therapy, California), and is also a Certified Hypnotherapist and an NLP practitioner.


Deborah Adie Boyd
Humanist / Senior Vice President, Research Strategy Group
  • Deborah is a humanist and senior vice president of rsg with over 14 years of research experience. Deborah is a dynamic moderator, workshop facilitator and pragmatic creative consultant. Her areas of expertise include communications, new product & concept testing, brand identity, usability testing, and understanding consumers. 
  • A fine arts background enhances Deborah's research capabilities in ideation, design, communications testing and advertising evaluations.
  • A graduate of the University of Calgary (BFA), Deborah is also a Certified Professional Coach (CPC) and an Energy Leadership Master Practitioner (ELI-MP) through iPEC (Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching). She also holds a certificate in the Foundations of Expressive Art Therapy (ISIS). Deborah is a member of the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association (MRIA).