In the Netherlands there is currently an advertising campain where one is called upon to test 'days out'. You'll get a discount at various features. A lot of these features are free of charge, by the way, but this is not mentioned in the advert.
This made me think, these results are namely very subjective. Nevertheless, at some point, when the mass of respondees is large enough, the results are considered objective.
Can therefore be stated that 'subjective' can become 'objective' if the mass is large enough?
And is there a formula for this? Is this mass equal for every test? Is mass accountable for reliability?
It seems fun to me to investigate this.
I also asked a collegue tester on his vision on this subject. He responded that 'the law of the objective mass', as I 'baptised' the subject, only applies when the interviewees have not spoken to eachother before the test or have made agreements on the subject (influencing).
Well there is someting in this. I can remember a 'case' last year on a election of the best advertisementslogan. A site called 'geen stijl' called upon their readers to vote on a slogan of the brand WC-eend: "Wij van WC eend, adviseren WC eend" (trans: "We from WCDucky advise WCDucky"). The advert won, allthough the slogan 'Biertje?' from Heineken had been on number one position for weeks before.
Subjective can thus only become objective if the influence is smaller then a certain part of the interviewed mass.
I haven't pursued the subject any further yet, but I'm curious of other perspective on this subject, so... please feel free to respond to this, in short statements, in large numbers. I hope to sketch an objective image!
[this column was published in Dutch in the CoP Testing Newsletter of Capgemini NL, 2008]