Strategy Quotations (4) - Asking Questions in Research

In his book Ogilvy on Advertising, David Ogilvy relates an experience from his days as a researcher for the Gallup Organization, when Gone with the Wind was a bestseller. Ogilvy’s assignment was to find out how many people had actually read the book. After too many positive answers to the direct question, "Have you read Gone with the Wind?", Ogilvy made the subtle but brilliant change to, "Do you plan to read Gone With the Wind?". Having provided respondents a way to admit not having read the book and still save face, false positive answers dropped dramatically.