AskDefine | Define insight

Dictionary Definition



1 clear or deep perception of a situation [syn: penetration]
2 a feeling of understanding [syn: perceptiveness, perceptivity]
3 the clear (and often sudden) understanding of a complex situation [syn: brainstorm, brainwave]
4 grasping the inner nature of things intuitively [syn: sixth sense]

User Contributed Dictionary



  • ĭn'sīt, /ˈɪnsaɪt/, /"InsaIt/


insight (insights)
  1. A sight or view of the interior of anything; a deep inspection or view; introspection; frequently used with into.
  2. Power of acute observation and deduction; penetration; discernment; perception.
  3. In Marketing: Knowledge (usually derived from consumer understanding) that a company applies in order to make a product or brand perform better and be more appealing to customers

Translations to be checked

Extensive Definition

The term insight can be used with several related meanings:
An insight that manifests itself suddenly, such as understanding how to solve a difficult problem, is called with a German word Aha-Erlebnis. The term was coined by the German psychologist and theoretical linguist Karl Bühler. It is also known as an epiphany. Problem solving behavior requiring insight is the subject of insight phenomenology.
An insight is the derivation of a rule which links cause with effect. The mind is a model of the universe built up from insights. Thoughts of the mind fall into 2 categories: 1) Analysis of past experience with the purpose of gaining insight for use within this model at a later date; and 2) Simulations of future scenarios using existing insights in the mind model in order to predict outcomes. A mature mind has assimilated many insights and understands cause and effect. When insight is not subordinate to a validation discipline like the 'scientific method', fallacious thinking can result in a confused mind.
In Buddhism, the Pali word for "insight" is "vipassana".


TV and movies

Printed media

In Business

Bradley (2007) points out a recent development in the world of business. There has been the emergence of new departments in corporations which carry the word “Insight” in their titles. We have “Customer Insight Departments”, Insight Management Unit, Consumer Insight and so on. This extends to the job titles of executives working in those areas. One reason for this development was a realisation that the emphasis of results from individual research projects needed to be shifted to a wider understanding of the dynamics operating in the full market place. Another reason was the impact of information technology. Progress in technology gave way to the availability of masses of information found in databases. The advantages of Insight Management are numerous. By making use of all existing information, there is less need to consult customers, thereby minimising unnecessary contact and costs.

In Marketing

Conroy (2008) points out that an insight is a statement based on a deep understanding of your target consumers' attitudes and beliefs, which connect at an emotional level with your consumer, provoking a clear response (This brand understands me! That is exactly how I feel! - even if they've never thought about it quite like that) which, when leveraged, has the power to change consumer behavior. Insights must affect a change in consumer behavior that benefits your brand, leading to the achievement of the marketing objective. Insights can be based on: 1. Real or perceived weakness to be expoited in competitive product performance or value 2. Attitudinal or perceived barrier in the minds of consumers, regarding your brand 3. Untapped or compelling belief or practice Insights are most effective when they are/do one of the following: 1. Unexpected 2. Create a disequilibria 3. Change momentum 4. Exploited via a benefit or point of difference that your brand can deliver

Other uses


  • Bradley, Nigel Marketing Research. Tools and Techniques.Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2007 ISBN-10: 0-19-928196-3 ISBN-13: 978-0-19-928196-1
insight in German: Einsicht
insight in Japanese: インサイト
insight in Dutch: Aha-erlebnis
insight in Russian: Инсайт

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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