Dr Robert Groves Explains Psychographics and How the Data Are Used

Psychographics is a way of categorizing someone based on their everyday behaviors using data that are collected every time they go to the store or post on social media, said Robert Groves, MD, executive vice president and chief medical officer at Banner | Aetna. In health care, psychographics can be used to positively influence someone to their benefit.

Psychographics is a way of categorizing someone based on their everyday behaviors using data is collected every time they go to the store or post on social media, said Robert Groves, MD, executive vice president and chief medical officer at Banner | Aetna. In health care, psychographics can be used to positively influence someone to their benefit.

Transcript

What is the difference between demographics and psychographics, and what data needs to be collected for psychographics?

Demographics we're all pretty familiar with, and this is what drives social determinants of health. That's what we mean when we say that typically. And those are things like where you live, how much money you make, whether you have children at home. Those things tend to change over time. And psychographics is totally different.

Psychographics are pretty much hard baked by the time you're 18 years old. And the way I like to think about psychographics is it's really measuring a microculture—a culture within a culture, if you will. And so, the kinds of things that psychographics is measuring is the stuff that you do every day when you go to the grocery store, and you use your credit card or you use your membership card. You're indicating what your buying habits are. When you go online, and you like something on Facebook, or you retweet something or you tweet something. All of that data is being collected. And a lot of people have begun to realize that recently. But what they haven't realized is all of that data has been used to categorize you and me as some sort of microculture.

And so, when you look at what the major brands have done with that information, they've sort of separated us out into 5 categories. And for example, a self-achiever is somebody who prioritizes their health. They're going to go out and try to stay well. They're going to seek services that help them do that. They're not as heavily directed towards what the physician says as being gospel. They may not take that at face value, and they may go seek information on their own as opposed to direction takers, which is just like it sounds. So, there are some variations in the way that they even think about their own health care.

So, the kinds of data that is collected is your behavior, essentially. How do you behave? How does it seem that you make decisions? What kinds of things do you like? And the experts at this, frankly, are the political parties. And when somebody says psychographics, or they know what that's about, they often go back to how the political parties have used that, to what I would call, in many ways, manipulate us. And so, let me clarify there. When I say manipulate, that's when somebody influences me to do something that is not necessarily in my own best interest.

When they do it in line with what my interests are, then that's called a positive influence. And so, I'm talking about taking the same information that Cambridge Analytica used in the scandal about how they took all that Facebook information and then, you know, pitted us against each other to try to drive votes to one party. We're taking that same information and saying, you know what, it can be used for good too. And so, the kinds of information is everything that you do every day.

Unless you're completely off the grid, there's a ton of psychographic information on you and on me that's already out there.