By machine-aided processes we mean the use of “apparatus” (e.g. tachistoscope or eye movement recording equipment) in order to be able to make perception more difficult (actual-genetic methods) or be able to document perception (identifying attention). The aim on the one hand is to find out to what extent company names, logos, product design, advertising messages etc. are perceived and recognized by observers, and on the other hand where exactly concentration can be achieved.
Precise, step-by-step analysis of the consumer perception process is of great significance in market and consumer psychology in particular.
All the actual-genetic methods used in market research concentrate in particular on the emotional first impression of advertising messages, products, brands etc. Here the methods aim either to shorten or to extend the time taken by the perception process, in order to study perceptions or actions which take place without reflection. Studies show that in human perception, what we perceive is often evaluated at a point at which we are not yet at all conscious of what we are evaluating. Hence the very first impression consists predominantly of feelings or emotionally coloured perceptions before particular contents are recognized (initially indistinctly and then increasingly clearly) and finally the overall picture is perceived in a differentiated manner.