Buying on an iPhone uncovers the Research Gene


Working in research has a myriad of benefits. Like helping design a new product that actually makes it to market, refining an ad before it goes on air, or providing input into major social policy initiatives like obesity or domestic violence. All outcomes that help feed the researchers ‘need’ … the need to delve deeper. Lately I’ve been pondering this ‘need’ that permeates all researchers lives, and whether there is infact a ‘research gene’. 

Thanks to flarephot

For years I’ve mapped the consumer decision making process for clients. Everything from houses, cars and diamonds to favourite songs, ice creams and slurry pumps (don’t ask, a researchers life is not all bling and sunshine). Inevitably the research results in a colourful flowchart that begins with a need, and ends with post purchase dissonance minimisation strategies, or in other words … ways not to regret your decision.

thanks to alegrya

As my facebook friends will know I’ve been grappling with my own purchase decision for several weeks now, specifically …

upgrading my mobile phone.

Having not ventured into iPhone-land yet, it was a major decision for me.

The result was a mound of brochures inhabiting my dining table, several trips to the Apple, Telstra, Optus and Virgin stores, plus a myriad of questions to family and friends.

At one stage the whole thing was in danger of coming undone, as an all-out facebook war nearly broke out between people who’d never met each other, but had me as a common denominator. Frightening stuff.  Thank god Russell Crow didn’t catch wind of it. It was this pending hostility and the prospect of declarations of ‘iPhones at 12.00’, that propelled me from research to decision and finally purchase.

Thanks to silverfuture

Several weeks on and sitting here looking at my new phone, I’ve been pondering the process involved.

This is not the first time I’ve ventured down the long and winding, headache inducing research road when making a significant personal purchase.

The question is …

Are researchers born like this or are we the result of our environment, our work experience?

If I’m honest I do have vague memories of fronting up at the Mr Whippy van, and spending a tad too long reviewing the list of options written up on the chalkboard. Single or double cone, plain or chocolate covered. Perhaps there is a research gene after all.

It would certainly help explain my compulsive note taking, list making, and lack of entry into the ‘early adopters’ club. I’ll never be the first kid on the block to own the latest widget, even if it does come with a bigger screen, more functionality or longer battery life.

If there is a gene I’d imagine it sits just left of the, ‘reading’ and ‘pondering’, genes, and far, far away from the ’20/20 vision’, ‘great dancer’, ‘insanely cool’, ‘able to balance on a surfboard’, ‘model’ genes.

What do you think, is there a research gene or not?

Either way I truly wish for simpler ‘Mr Whippy’ times when the biggest decision was to ‘flake or no to flake’ … no spreadsheet required.



  1. Unlike you who have the ability and patience to analyse everything before comitting I unfortunately have the opposite gene. Rush in look briefly and purchase.
    Then later learn the same or similar article could have been purchased for half the price.
    The advice I always receive is “shop around, don’t buy the first time” In other words look for the “Ponder Gene” Alan G.

  2. Unlike you, who have the ability and patience to analyse everything before committing yourself, I unfortunately have the opposite gene. Rush in look briefly and purchase.
    Then later learn that the same or similar article could have been acquired for half the price.
    The advice I continually receive is “Take your time,shop around, dont buy the first time”.In other words learn the “Ponder Gene. But how?

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