Behind Closed Doors: a Reflection on the Emotional Challenge of Doing Consumer Research on Painful Topics

Consumer researchers are increasingly studying demanding populations such as breast cancer patients, drug addicts, and AIDS victims. Developing interactions with these highly vulnerable and often distressed, seriously ill, or traumatized populations is likely to significantly affect the researcher. Moreover, methods that increase the empathetic and experiential understanding of another’s painful reality are likely to be more emotionally demanding. This presentation conceptually and empirically explores the impact of the researchers’ emotions on the research, the researcher, and the researched. It suggests that considering, exploring, and disclosing these emotions can improve the overall research process.


Jonathan Deschenes (2007) ,"Behind Closed Doors: a Reflection on the Emotional Challenge of Doing Consumer Research on Painful Topics", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 34, eds. Gavan Fitzsimons and Vicki Morwitz, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 20-22.


Jonathan Deschenes, Concordia University, Canada


NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 34 | 2007

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