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The ecological fallacy, the drawing of inferences about individuals based on aggregate level data, was discovered over 50 years ago but is still present in a surprising number of commonly employed marketing and advertising research tools. In this article, we examine three specific manifestations of the ecological fallacy—gap/grid analysis, leverage analysis, and the misuse of indexes from syndicated research. Our analysis will demonstrate that the approaches represent parallel paths to an analysis procedure that results in correct conclusions only by accident.
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