Check this out. What you will see is an interesting 2-minute video, from our old friend the Country Doctor, on why he doesn’t order “fasting” blood work anymore. In a nutshell, he feels that this testing denies him information concerning the usual state of his patients’ lipids. Put another way, while the fasting blood work provides a reliable measure, it is of questionable validity.
As usual, this got me to thinking. As a guy who has wrestled with hypertension all his life, I have been carefully instructed by my physician as to how to take my blood pressure at home. Sit quietly for 5 minutes. Uncross my legs. Arm and bp cuff level with the heart. Every time I do that, I ponder whether what I am measuring has any relationship to my blood pressure as I run around the golf course during the day, get stressed at board meetings, etc.
I also think of a good friend of mine, unfortunately recently deceased (Is there cause and effect here?) who took great delight in cleaning up his diet and stopping drinking a week before his blood was to be drawn for his annual physical. Using this trick, he was always able to show his doctor what a healthy life he was living. Right!!!
Bottom Line. How many things in life do we measure the easy way? The way that gives us reliability rather than validity? The same headset is operative in marketing research, where we tend to measure things the way that make the results easy to interpret? Carefully sidestepping all of the complexities of our customers’ real-world experiences, which would often add the words “It depends on….” to the beginning of their answers!