Testing Feelings and Mindsets

At a Glance

Curious about how to test customer feelings and mindsets? This article demonstrates ways to measure feelings while you test with contributor self-reporting. Measuring feelings helps you create better products for your customers by better understanding their mindset around your company and its products and services.

There are many reasons you might want to test a contributor’s feelings. You might want to know how customers feel about the usability of your website or app, or you're curious if a new feature excites them. Maybe you want to know whether your content comes across as genuine or evokes trust. Did the content you present change their feelings or opinions about your company? Now that you know some reasons why you might test feelings and mindsets, let's talk about how to do it.

Before-and-after approach

One approach to testing feelings would be to ask questions before and after a contributor views your content. This could be accomplished with verbal questions, rating scale questions, or multiple choice questions.

For example, before starting your test, ask a verbal response question, "What are your current feelings about [company/design/content]?"


Verbal question: What are your current feelings about Penny’s T-Shirt Shop?

Asking this question before sharing your content provides a baseline for how a customer feels about your company/product. Do they have any knowledge of who you are or what you do? Do they have positive or negative feelings about your company/product? Will the content you present change their opinion?

After the contributor has finished going through your test, ask a verbal response question:


Verbal question: After viewing our content, what are your feelings about Penny’s T-Shirt Shop?

The answer to the question will let you know how your content affected people and how contributors feel about your company/product. This can validate that you’re heading in the right direction or let you know changes need to be made.

Multiple choice question-type example to use after a contributor viewed your content:multiple_choice_emotions_explain.png

Multiple choice question: The content on this side made me feel…
Options: Excited, Intrigued, Bored, Irritated, Neutral 

Measuring someone’s mindset

You can measure someone’s mindset by asking multiple choice or rating scale questions. This approach allows you to provide feelings for contributors to choose from as well as how much or little they agree with statements regarding their sentiments. 

In this multiple choice example, the content of an article was tested. Find out how it affected the contributor’s mindset.


Multiple choice question: The content in this article…
Options: Made me trust Penny’s T-Shirt Shop more, Made me trust Penny’s T-Shirt Shop less, Did not change how much I trust Penny’s T-Shirt Shop, Other (please explain).

Then, you can follow up with a multiple choice question to see whether the content changed their attitudes at all. If contributors express very negative or very positive attitudes, then consider asking rating scale questions such as this, rating scale questions like this can be asked.


Rating scale question: After viewing Penny’s T-Shirt Shop’s content, I trust this company.
1-Strongly disagree to 5-Strongly agree

Best practices

  • Be sure to ask contributors about their feelings both before and after they've seen your content. Doing so will determine whether the content impacted their opinion.
  • Include a range of feelings when asking multiple choice questions.
  • Ask contributors to explain their feelings.
  • Follow up multiple choice questions with rating scale questions.

Learn More

Need more information? Read these related articles.

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