The study of human behaviour is an interplay between one's thoughts, feelings, and actions. A deeper scientific inquiry into how humans act, make decisions, learn and retrieve thoughts and feelings that aid decision making are of pivotal interest to both academia and industry.
In recent times Behavioral research has led to a significant impact and understanding of the human mind and the way it takes decisions. One such pioneer in Behavioral studies is Symbiosis Centre for Behavioral Studies (SCBS).
SCBS has been established to intensify the thrust of Behavioral research scholarship within Symbiosis International (Deemed University).
The centre operates from the Symbiosis Institute of Business Management (Pune). The centre is headed by Dr Preetha Menon, who is a seasoned faculty of marketing at SIBM Pune.
SCBS has a three-pronged aim of - a) Increasing quality research in Behavioral sciences b) publishing the research findings in reputed journals and c) provide consulting to organizations.
Behavioral research is the study of the many variables that impact the formation of one's habits. Habitual patterns of decision-making have a huge impact because they affect so many areas of one's daily life.
These habits directly impact how consumers spend money and why they purchase certain products.
"In a world that is digitized and connected, it is imperative that research techniques resonate with its audiences. SCBS is equipped with state-of-the-art equipment such as eye-trackers, mouse trackers and high-end experimentation software," said Dr Menon.
This allows for studies that measure physiological responses such as response time and eye gaze movement that complement survey-based measures. SCBS invites an outside-in approach for research, solving problems that are not only of academic interest but of societal relevance.
"Although we are focused on path-breaking quality research, most of our work comes from the industry. This stands evidence to its applicability to real world scenarios and business problems," she added.
The Behavioral Lab of SCBS provides a conducive environment for focus group studies, business simulations for the management students at SIBM Pune and also to corporate houses for their specific research needs.
The Computer-mediated Experiments enables multiple participants to interact simultaneously in an online environment and conduct real time research studies. SCBS also brings international expertise via international collaborations spread across the globe with partners in reputed universities in the USA, Germany, Netherlands, and Australia.
It is imperative that research rings relevance to the audience. In order to do so, SCBS constantly follows the 4 D principal of Domain Expertise, Digital Integration, Data Driven Insights, and Dissemination of Knowledge.
The starting point for any research centre worth it's salt is domain expertise. SCBS is deeply focused on building capacities for domain knowledge. Strategic collaborations with think tanks and with in-house expertise in psychological studies that pan cognitive, affective and Behavioral research keeps SCBS on top of the game.
Research centres that are able to integrate qualitative and quantitative studies provide far more value to clients than those that don't straddle different techniques. Today corporates are connected with their customers, consumers are connected with each other and the world itself is far more connected than ever before.
This has been possible because of the digital wave that has taken over the current generation and much of the past generations as well. In such a scenario, the ability for research to embrace digitization and integrating its use in conducting research is important.
SCBS uses various digital tools, for instance, eye trackers and simulators to study real time behaviour of humans in different contexts. In order to cull insights from data, research centres must be capable of processing data drawn from multiple sources, such as text, visual and numerical data.
The integration of different kinds of data leads to insights that reflect behaviour in a holistic manner. The ease with which one can replicate real life transactions that pan different media, platforms, and time-frames is what will determine how useful the findings and insights are.
While conducting meaningful research is the core of SCBS, Dr Menon believes that "knowledge shared is knowledge squared". "If all the insights and meaning we unearth, have access to only an elite few then we are not serving the larger purpose" she adds.
Hence while conducting useful research SCBS never loses sight of the fact that it must benefit the community at large and that this knowledge truly permeates through the veins of the society.
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