User Research

Mind vs Action: Investigating Attitudinal vs Behavioral Research Methods

Manoj Rana
February 27, 2024
min read
Mind vs Action: Investigating Attitudinal vs Behavioral Research Methods
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Your customers are the central element of your business, whether it is food, consumer electronics, manufacturing, or whatnot. Therefore, understanding their needs and catering to them is of paramount importance.

A crucial element in understanding your customer is user experience (UX). UX research helps a business save on development process costs and boost customer happiness and loyalty. Further, user experience also enables brands to improve their products as per customer demands.

Among several ways to comprehend user experience, attitudinal and behavioral research ranks on top. While attitudinal research focuses on understanding human emotions and perspectives, behavioral research is all about monitoring the moves that a customer makes.

I have compiled this comprehensive blog on Attitudinal vs Behavioral research. Dive in and understand how these methods can help make your brand stand out.

Why is UX Necessary?

As Steve Jobs said,

“Design is not just what it looks like or feels like. Design is how it works.”

On a broad scope, user experience or UX is defined as the way a customer or a user interacts with the brand. It can be via several means, such as websites, mobile applications, forms, etc.

User experience is necessary because of several reasons, such as

  • Building brand loyalty
  • Product development and innovation
  • Catering to user’s needs
  • Building brand perception

As 88% of the users are less likely to return after a bad experience, brands are required to drill down every last way to improve UX.

What is Attitudinal and Behavioral Research?

Let's begin with understanding attitudinal research!

Attitudinal Research (Quantitative and Qualitative)

Attitudinal research encompasses methods that are focused on studying and comprehending customers' beliefs, attitudes, opinions, and perceptions about a particular brand, product, or service.

It can easily be conducted via several methods, such as

  • Surveys
  • Interviews
  • Focus groups
  • Observation
  • Polls
  • Market research studies

Attitudinal research can help you uncover mind-blowing insights and rewards for a business. But, as it is entirely about what a user says rather than what they do, it requires a high level of commitment.

Attitudinal research is of two types: qualitative and quantitative.

  1. Quantitative research includes closed-end questions with limited options. They can be yes/no questions or multiple-choice questions. Quantitative research helps in understanding the degree of opinion or emotion of a user.

An example of a quantitative research question is, how would you rate our delivery service on a scale of 1 to 10?

  1. Qualitative research is a more elaborate take on user opinions. Qualitative research allows the researchers to gain deeper insights into user opinions and reviews about a product or service. User interviews are the perfect example of qualitative research.

Behavioral Research Method

Just like its name dictates, behavioral research is about studying the behavior of the customer. It encompasses the ways to observe a person and their actions. Rather than depending on general opinions, this research analyzes what a person does on a brand’s website or app.

There are several ways to conduct behavioral research, including.

  • Usability test
  • A/B testing
  • Eye tracking studies
  • Experimental studies
  • Observational studies

Behavioral analytics of your customers produces quantitative data that can help you build better products and services.

Learn About the Differences Between Surveys, Polls, and Questionnaires.

Comparing Attitudinal vs Behavioral Research

After a detailed analysis of both user-experience research methods, I have compiled a tabular comparison of them.

Attitudinal Vs Behavioral Research: How to Combine Both?

I can tell you that though these researches are of high utility when conducted independently when clubbed together, they can deliver better results.

For example, to make the purchase process of your eCommerce website smooth, you can create a survey with questions about the website design and layout. On the other hand, you can use analytics tools to find out the time taken to complete the purchase.

Based on the data acquired from the surveys, you will know what design elements are increasing or decreasing the purchase completion time.

This way, you can combine attitude and behavior research to enhance your service or product.

When to Conduct Attitude or Behaviour Research?

Opting for the right research method varies based on aspects like

  • Types of questions
  • Stage of the product development process
  • Resources available for research

If your research questions are related to finding out the potential barriers to acceptance or rejection of the product, I suggest you use attitude research as it explores user opinions and beliefs.

In contrast, if you intend to find out what factors led the users to purchase a product or a service, I suggest behavior research, as it outlines all the user actions.

In some cases, you may be required to know both. As both of these studies are not mutually exclusive, they can be used collectively for a comprehensive understanding of user experience.

How to Conduct Behavior and Attitude Research?

The process of conducting this research includes a series of steps.

  1. Research questions: Based on the type of research and issue, you need to craft the questions. These questions should reflect the information needed for the research. For example, in attitude research, the question can be where did you hear about the product? In behavior research, it will be how many users bought the product.
  1. Select the Research Method: Once you have finalized the questions, you need to select a research method. You can go for surveys or focus groups for attitude research and usability testing for behavior research.
  1. Design the research: Designing the research includes creating resources like surveys, questionnaires, and usability tests for the researchers. Further, it also includes shortlisting data analysis techniques, such as descriptive statistics, regression analysis, factor analysis, and more.
  1. Collection and analysis of data: Finally, you have to conduct the research and collect the data. Following this, the data analysis process begins. Now, based on the type of data, there are several Mathematical and statistical analysis methods, such as logistic regression, linear regression, time series model, and multivariate regression model.
  1. Interpreting and reporting

The final step is interpreting the obtained data and reporting it most interactively. You can use different visual aids to report the obtained data concisely.


User experience is crucial to ace the competition in the modern world. And to boost user experience, you have to implement the best user research methods like attitude and behavior research.

From knowing the opinions of the users to finding out who purchased the product, these research techniques help you unlock the mysteries of the user perception of your brand.

You can use several user research ways, from polls to usability and A/B testing. However, if you want to make the research part hassle-free, you need the best resources at hand.

I recommend you to try the research resources of Qwary. From surveys and polls to text analytics, you will get all the resources in one place. Get in touch and get going!


  1. What is behavioral research in UX?

Behavioral research deals with understanding what makes the user take a specific action. Some methods of behavioral research are usability testing, A/B testing, observational study, etc.

  1. Is behavioral research qualitative or quantitative?

Behavioral research is both quantitative and qualitative, which makes it ideal for deducing user behavior from the collected data.

  1. What is the difference between attitudinal data and behavioral data?

Behavioral data, like clicks, purchases, etc., point to the actions taken by the users, while attitudinal data helps comprehend the feelings and perceptions of the user regarding the product or service.