Lieberman Research Group


Virtual Research Using Avatars

Encourages openness among respondents with difficult-to-talk-about conditions

Sensor™ utilizes an innovative virtual environment demonstrated to encourage greater openness among focus group respondents. By participating virtually, via self-created avatars, respondents are quicker to convey emotion and share more personal information compared to face-to-face focus group respondents.

The Sensor methodology enables respondents to participate from various locations including home, their office or from a private space within a central research facility. Lieberman provides each respondent with a PC-ready wireless motion and sound sensor technology that enables them to create their own 3-D avatar. Avatars embody various aspects of respondent condition, feelings, and behaviors. Respondents select from a range of facial features and expressions, hair styles, body shapes, clothing, accessories and more.

Sensor has broad applications to enable greater anonymity for respondents, including patients, physicians, consumers, payers, sales representatives, employees, etc. It also has the ability to bring respondents from diverse geographic areas together in one virtual “room.”

Lieberman conducted a study, The Patient Unveiled – Generating Insights in a Virtual World among respondents living with depression, to test the value of virtual research. Dimensions of virtual respondent disclosure included greater use of “emotional words,” as defined by a leading psychiatrist, in describing life with depression, and a more open discussion of personal issues.

To learn more about how Sensor virtual research can help you gain deeper target insights, please contact Sabera Hyderally, Executive Vice President, Healthcare.


Bloomberg Business Week Features Innovative Approach Embodied in Sensor™ Virtual Research Tool