Smarter Thinking

Offering the best of both worlds
in consumer & social research.


Our work is diverse, but our philosophy across these projects is the same: inject academic, evidence-based research into commercial projects while keeping a clear focus on real-world, actionable insights.

Empirica Research is a specialist in behaviour change research. Our founder, Cassie, has a PhD in Psychology and is an Honorary Fellow in the University of Melbourne’s School of Psychological Sciences where she still lectures for the 3rd Year Psychology program and the Graduate Diploma program. We are passionate about conducting smart research for smart clients and we utilise our unique links to the academic world to bring an added level of insight to our projects.

Given our strong background in psychology, Empirica Research specialises in behaviour change research. Our researchers are well versed in current behaviour change research and theories, allowing us to provide a tailored multi-theory approach to research. Time and time again we see examples of marketing/communications that are limited by their reliance on out-dated behaviour change theories such as the Transtheoretical Model (i.e., the Stages of Change Model) or the reasoned action approach. Whilst these theories are a great starting point for behaviour change research, they are limited in the extent to which they can guide the development of social marketing/communications campaigns that are unique and hard-hitting...

The Transtheoretical Model has been widely criticised for its assumption that people’s behaviour changes sequentially through a number of specific stages, ignoring the influence of momentary impulses and environmental cues. Other traditional theories of behaviour change are flawed in their assumption that people’s intentions are reliable predictors of their behaviour, when in fact there is copious evidence to suggest that people often deviate from their behavioural intentions.

We rely on the latest academic theory to guide our research and provide unique insight into the development of communications and marketing campaigns.

Our background in social psychology also means that we often build in an experimental approach to our research – relying on what people actually do in certain situations rather than what people think they would do (a small, but very important, difference).

Our People

Cassie Govan PhD

Managing Director

cassie@empiricaresearch.com.au

Cassie has a PhD in Psychology and is an Honorary Fellow in the University of Melbourne’s School of Psychological Sciences. She thrives on taking the science of attitude and behaviour change...

Cassie has a PhD in Psychology and is an Honorary Fellow in the University of Melbourne’s School of Psychological Sciences. She thrives on taking the science of attitude and behaviour change and combining it with her love of advertising and communications – the combination of academic theory and real-world insight.

After receiving her Ph.D. in experimental social psychology, Cassie spent two years in the US as a Research Associate and Co-Director of the Behavioural Lab at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business.

She has published in top academic journals, written chapters for academic books and has presented at psychology and marketing conferences across the USA and Australia. She regularly lectures for psychology departments and business schools and she has appeared in television, radio and print media as an expert social psychologist.

Natalie Herd PhD

Director of Social Research

natalie@empiricaresearch.com.au

Natalie has a PhD in Psychology from the University of Melbourne and an impressive background of behaviour change research for The Cancer Council Victoria. Her PhD explored predictors of smoking relapse...

Natalie has a PhD in Psychology from the University of Melbourne and an impressive background of behaviour change research for The Cancer Council Victoria. Her PhD explored predictors of smoking relapse among participants in the International Tobacco Control Policy Evaluation Project, a large, multi-country longitudinal survey of smokers.

While at The Cancer Council, she also conducted quantitative data analysis on large populations studies, such The National Sun Survey, and evaluated the long-term effectiveness of SunSmart campaigns. Natalie has also conducted research in a number of other behaviour change areas, including solariums, nutrition, obesity prevention, physical activity, alcohol consumption, and cancer patient care.

She thrives on the challenges associated with analysing large data sets and has a strong interest in progressing behavioural change theories and models. Natalie has advanced statistical expertise in methods such as segmentation and prediction modelling and is an expert in behaviour change theories.

Hannah Capes

Senior Researcher

hannah@empiricaresearch.com.au

Elise Margetts PhD

Researcher

elisem@empiricaresearch.com.au

Elise Holland PhD

Researcher

eliseh@empiricaresearch.com.au

Carol Nguyen

Research Assistant

melb@empiricaresearch.com.au

Clare Sullivan

Research Assistant

melb@empiricaresearch.com.au

Alice Cattapan

Research Assistant

melb@empiricaresearch.com.au

Our Work

We design research to suit your needs.
We use a range of research approaches, but we always rely on a strong basis of academic theory and insight in our design. Our goal is to give our clients actionable insights that are based on evidence-based research. To find our more about Empirica, please contact us.

Survey
research


Our surveys will often incorporate experimental communication testing to go beyond how people think they would respond, and instead explore actual differences between various message-framing options. We have an advanced statistical analysis team who love crunching numbers – we utilise techniques such as prediction modelling and segmentation analysis to get the most out of the survey data.

Social media
analysis


Whatever your brand, issue, or product – chances are that people are already talking about it online. As a starting phase of most projects we conduct, we include social media analysis to explore the online conversations people are already having about your product/issue. This sets the scene for our next phases of research and is also of stand-alone importance in understanding the landscape of your product/issue.

In-depth interviews
& focus groups


Despite our reliance on social psychological theory and research design, there is still a place for traditional focus groups and interviews. We don’t believe that these methods are always the answer, but we certainly believe they have a place in the research mix.

Desk research
& data analysis


Increasingly, we’re finding that clients have truckloads of existing reports and data, but no way of collating or distilling this existing internal knowledge. We also often work on projects where there has been a large amount of academic or government research on the topic. In these cases, we rely on our specialist ability to produce academic literature reviews, research compilation reviews, or advanced statistical analysis of existing data sets.

Observational
Analysis


We find that many traditional approaches to research miss a crucial step – simply observing the group in which you are interested while they are in their natural environment. This could be shoppers in a market, students in a library, or farmers out in the field. Whatever the issue or topic, chances are that a research project will be enhanced by an initial stage of observational analysis.


recent clients