Mobile Research Series: Picture Capture

Eighty-two percent of cell phone owners now use their phones to take pictures. The mobile survey application harnesses these capabilities to create what is akin to a visual verbatim. Respondents are able to use a picture they take from their phone or tablet to respond to any number of questions, creating a visual response not available over the phone, or even in online survey research.

As newspaper editor Arthur Brisbane said in 1911, “Use a picture. It’s worth a thousand words.”

For our national survey we asked respondents to take a picture of one item near them that reminds them of, or they most associate with either the Republican or Democratic Party. Below are some examples of the pictures we got for each party.

Republicans:

 image 1 

Democrats:

 image 2

What we learned:

  • Mirroring current public opinion numbers, the majority of the pictures and the corresponding verbatims taken for each party had negative connotations.
  • President Obama was far and away the politician most associated with Democrats, while George W. Bush was the figure most associated with Republicans.
  • Respondents demonstrated an incredibly high level of creativity in their visual representations of each party.
  • Picture capture allows for a singularly unique visual representation key to understanding underlying motivations, hopes and fears of the electorate. It creates a visual illustration of these emotions above and beyond what can be extrapolated from normal verbatim responses.

Here are some charts with a full explanation and analysis of the picture capture.