Morphological Psychology

Intensions Consulting are the only providers of morphological market research in Canada, and amongst a small group of research institutes conducting morphological studies globally.  

This groundbreaking methodology is a practical application of morphological psychology, an independent psychological theory originally advanced by Wilhelm Salber from the University of Cologne in Germany (Salber, 1965; Salber, 1969; Salber, 1989).

Incorporating aspects of gestalt psychology, phenomenology and psychoanalysis, the theory is based on psychological tensions that work together to influence and direct human experience and behaviour (Lӧnneker, 2007; Ziems, 2004). 

These psychological tensions are uncovered through morphological intensive interviews, a unique qualitative methodology that encourages open and flexible discussions within the context of a closed conceptual framework (Lӧnneker, 2007; Dammer & Szymkowiak, 1998). 

Similar to other qualitative research methodologies (Starks & Trinidad, 2007), interpretative analysis involves an iterative process of decontextualization and recontextualization to distill data into a common set of psychological themes or tensions (Dammer & Szymkowiak, 1998). When combined, these psychological tensions provide a framework for systematically understanding fundamental human needs (Melchers, 1997).


- Salber, W. Morphologie des seelischen Geschehens. Ratingen, Germany: Henn; 1965. ISBN: 9783923823055 

- Salber, W. Wirkungseinheiten: Psychologie von Werbung und Erziehung. Wuppertal, Germany: Henn; 1969. ISBN: Unknown

- Salber, W. Der Alltag ist nicht grau. Bonn, Germany: Bouvier; 1989. ISBN: 9783416022125 

- Lӧnneker, J. Morphologie: Die Wirkung von Qualitäten – Gestalten im Wandel. In: Naderer, G., Balzer, E., editors. Qualitative Marktforschung in Theorie und Praxis. Wiesbaden, Germany: Gabler; 2007. ISBN: 9783834902443

- Ziems, D. The Morphological Approach for Unconscious Consumer Motivation Research. J Advert Res 2004;44(2). DOI: 10.1017/S0021849904040152

- Starks, H., Trinidad SB. Choose your method: a comparison of phenomenology, discourse analysis, and grounded theory. Qual Health Res 2007;17(10). DOI: 10.1177/1049732307307031

- Dammer, I., Szymkowiak F. Die Gruppendiskussion in der Marktforschung: Grundlagen - Moderation - Auswertung - Ein Praxisleitfaden. Wiesbaden, Germany: Westdeutscher; 1998. ISBN: 9783531133171

- Melchers, C. Life and Consumption Styles in the New Bundeslanders Five Years After the Collapse of the Berlin Wall. In: Ullmann, A., Lewis, A., editors. Privatization and Entrepreneurship: The Managerial Challenge in Central and Eastern Europe. New York, United States: International Business Press; 1997. ISBN: 9781560249726