Right Brain Research on Marriage and Church Attendance

Communio commissioned the Right Brain People to create new market research on how to emotionally reach those under age 35 on the behavior of getting married, staying married, and getting to church.

In these training modules, we’ll share this world class research with you and your team to help your church improve its ability to persuade and reach a new generation with the truth of the gospel.

So, what is Right Brain Research? RB Research is a unique form of market research that uncovers the strongest Emotional Motivations and Barriers of key audiences. It focuses on studying a company’s best customers to understand what motivates them in order to have insights on how to reach more customers.

Created more than 40 years ago by Dr. Charlie Kenney, the method has been leveraged by 22 of the top 40 advertisers in America. The cost of completing this research is frequently prohibitive for most churches to acquire on their own. Communio funders created it to share exclusively with our church partners.

In the modules, you’ll learn about the most powerful emotional needs and barriers that drive the behavior of getting married, staying married, and getting to church.

Training Modules

Introduction to Right Brain Research: Communio’s Emotional Message Research Around Marriage and Church Attendance

What exactly is Right Brain Research? How is it different from other market research, and what can it tell us about the emotional drivers around marriage and church attendance? In this module, we’ll provide an introduction to the Right Brain methodology and how it was applied in this sector.

Beyond Chaos and Fairytales: Reaching Young Adults & Helping Them Embrace Marriage

In Module 1, you’ll recall that in the Qualitative Phase, researchers run long form 90-120 minute interviews with respondents. In this phase, The Right Brain Researchers focused on married individuals under age 35, who did not have a college degree, and who did not have a household income greater than $65,000. A portion of respondents were divorced and remarried. There was an oversampling of Hispanics.

Within this group researchers found that family trauma and domestic chaos is far more the norm than it is the exception. Churches must begin with this understanding to find effective ways to reach and reinforce the life-long commitment of Christian marriage.
Positive views of marriage they receive are frequently shaped by movies and media. Long into adulthood, It was very common for subjects to look back and see themselves and their expectations as emotionally shaped by happy endings of marriage as told within Disney children’s movies.

Go through Module 2 to gain message and ministry insights on these unique challenges.

Review of Quantitative Research on Marriage: Emotion-based Market Segment Overview

The prior training module was a report on the overall respondents in the qualitative portion of the research. Once the Qualitative interviews are completed, the Right Brain researchers identify the most commonly occurring emotional motivations and barriers from their taxonomy that arises in the respondent interviews. They then created a larger survey instrument that tests the relative importance of these various factors.

This is called the quantitative portion of the research. This research went from ages 18-40 without more than 2-years of college. 50 percent of the respondents were Hispanic. The respondents are then “clustered” into groups with the most common emotional factors.

In this training module, we will provide a summary overview of the emotion-based market segments for marriage.

The Independents

In this training module, we’ll provide a deeper dive into the most challenging emotion-based market segment on the behavior of marriage – the Independents. You’ll get ministry and messaging tips on how to reach individuals who fit into this grouping.

The Romantics

In this training module, we’ll provide a deeper dive the most emotionally pro-marriage segment – the Romantics.

Romantics do not need our help to see marriage in a positive light. They already aspire to get married, and they see marriage as a sum greater than its parts. Marriage enhances the individual. The greatest pastoral challenge with this segment is unrealistic expectations upon entering marriage. This module includes ministry and messaging tips on how to serve this important grouping.

The Cautious

In this training module, we’ll provide a deeper dive the most emotionally pro-marriage segment – the Cautious.

Top line Communio Advice with the Cautious: The Cautious are the segment where focused attention can make the greatest impact on the behavior to get married. They have very strong emotional needs and barriers around the behavior of marriage. This provides a number of effective opportunities to both pastorally reach these individuals. This module will also provides useful insights for messaging and ministry both for outreach efforts in the community and for messages from the pulpit.

Building Something Better: The Right Brain Approach to Understanding Church for Working Class Americans

Building Something Better: The Right Brain Approach to Understanding Church for Working Class Americans

In Module 7, we’ll review the entire Qualitative Phase of the Right Brain Research on the emotional needs and barriers around the behavior of regular church attendance.  Like the research on marriage in modules 1-6, this research also interviewed subjects without a four-year college degree between the age of 18-35 and who had a household income lower than $65,000 a year.  

Within this group, researchers found six commonly occurring emotional needs and four commonly occurring emotional barriers that influence the behavior of church attendance.  This module reviews each of these factors.

Church: Right Brain Market Research, Emotion-Based Segment Overview

While the prior module introduced the overall findings of the Qualitative Phase of the Right Brain 

Research, Module 8 will dive into the Quantitative Phase.  In this phase, the research team created a survey instrument that measured the relative intensity of the emotional needs and barriers and then grouped individual respondents accordingly.  This led to the creation of five emotion-based market segments on the behavior of church attendance. In this module, we’ll go over a summary of these segments.