Setup: Motivation Measurement

What is it for?

Measuring the goals a consumer has and how strong/important they are. Can also be used for testing agreement with specific statements, as long as the statements are short (usually five words or less).

What do I need to set up?

You need to specify a question, which will be seen consistently through the whole exercise. For example, it may be “Why did you choose your main bank?” 

Then, you need a list of goals, need states or statements. The respondent will see each statement in turn, and quickly say whether they agree with it. For example, the goals might be:

  • Customer service

  • Low fees

  • High overdraft

  • My parents used it

  • My work recommended it

The statements should be short, because the respondent needs to see and answer them in a short time, usually between 5 and 8 seconds. All statements should be reasonably similar in length, otherwise statements that are longer or shorter may bias the results. The question does not have to be short, because the respondent has more time to read it and it does not change with each new screen.

Finally you specify the number of statements that each respondent will see. If you do not specify this, respondents will see every statement exactly once. If you give a number that is less than the number of statements, the respondents will see a random selection. For example, if you have 50 statements you probably would not want every participant to see every statement (answer quality may reduce when respondents are fatigued, which may happen after 20-25 statements). You might specify only 20 statements, and each respondent will see a different random selection of 20. If you use this approach you will not have a full set of answers from every respondent, so it cannot be used for screening or segmentation.


You can choose the length of time allowed to respond to each statement: the default is 8 seconds. The time is expressed in milliseconds, e.g. 8000 milliseconds = 8 seconds.

If the survey will be administered in multiple languages, you should provide translations of the statements into each language.

You can also provide a negative question and a set of negative statements. If you do, respondents will first see the main question (e.g. “What are the main reasons you drink coffee?”) followed by the negative question (e.g. “What are the reasons you would not drink coffee?”). You can specify different statements for the negative question than the positive question: for instance, the positive statements may be “It wakes me up” and “It tastes good”, while the negative statements could be “I don’t like the taste” or “it makes me anxious”.

An instruction screen is usually shown before the exercise. A default set of instructions are provided but you may wish to update them, for example by putting a customised screenshot of your own MM instead of a generic screenshot. The instructions should also be translated if your survey is run in multiple languages.


We recommend no more than 25 choices per respondent. If you need to show people more than this, split the MM into two or more chunks and break them up with some other questions in between. This allows respondents to rest and makes them less likely to start picking random answers.

If you have to use longer statements (for example if you are implementing a set of attitudinal questions for screening or segmentation) you could allow up to 10 seconds, but if you extend the time much more than this, the time pressure element will become less effective.

If you can use very short, simple statements (for example single words) you can reduce the time to 5 seconds and make the exercise very efficient.

You can also use images instead of text for the statements – just choose the wording of the question accordingly. For instance, the question might be “Do you feel positive about this picture?” if you are testing different imagery for a website.