“Finder” mode is very similar to and an extension of Associations, in that it is focused on discovering new or hidden perceptions about the working topics, but directed toward some specific practical application rather than the more open-ended discovery of Associations.
When using the PD in Finder mode, there will usually be some reference to an ideal or goal (e.g., an ideal product, or the best the organization can become) against which the existing situation (e.g., new product proposals, or the organization as it currently is). In Finder mode, the PD is used to explore the deeply held feelings and perceptions about the working topics, particularly as they compare to the reference topics.
- How different is the topic from the ideal?
- In what ways is it different from the ideal?
- What does this tell us is needed to make it more like the ideal?
- What does this tell us about what’s keeping us from our goal?
Because the PD acts as an alogical amplifier – amplifying the sometimes ineffable perceptions that transcend logical thought and evaluation processes – it provides new avenues for exploration and discussion that can lead to better (e.g., closer to ideal) solutions.
One way in which the PD has been used in this mode is with focus groups, evaluating marketing and advertising campaigns to see how well the campaign materials generated the kind of emotional response and associations intended.
The PD is used in Associations mode when the goal is to learn more about how people perceive and feel about a topic or group of topics. In addition to collecting the responses to uncover attitude towards and identification with the topics, degree of consensus and INcongruity, additional activities are used to develop a deeper appreciation made available by the PD responses.
A PD session will generate epitomizing and antithetical pictures for the topics being assessed – PD pictures, abstract and evocative as they are, act as an alogical amplifier – amplifying the sometimes ineffable perceptions that transcend logical thought and evaluation processes.
Typical questions for opening up exploration and discussion include:
- How is the epitomizing picture like the topic?
- How is the antithetical picture not like the topic?
- What are the consequences of a high level of INcongruence, or a low level of consensus on these topics?
- In what ways is the antithetical picture like the topic?
In larger group sessions it is also often quite useful to have participants break into smaller groups based on their epitomizing picture choices for a topic in order to allow for some deeper discussion before taking it on as one large group. This can be done by grouping people by same epitomizing pictures or different epitomizing pictures, depending upon whether you’re wanting to emphasize similarities or dissimilarities.
All of these associations between the topics and the images can greatly enhance understanding of the deep feelings towards and perceptions of the topics. There are usually several unexpected ways, easily surfacing into awareness, in which the picture deeply relates to the Topic. These associations are often rich, and their discovery is another unique and useful feature of the PD.