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On the optimal number of scale points in graded paired comparisons


De Beuckelaer, Alain; Toonen, Stef; Davidov, Eldad (2013). On the optimal number of scale points in graded paired comparisons. Quality and Quantity, 47(5):2869-2882.

Abstract

In market research, it is common practice to measure individuals’ brand or product preference through graded paired comparisons (GPCs). One important decision concerns the (odd) number of scale points (e.g., five, seven, nine, or eleven) that has to be assigned to either brands or products in each pair. Using data from an experiment with 122 students, we assessed the extent to which GPCs with a higher number of scale points (requiring more cognitive effort) really outperform GPCs with a smaller number of scale points (requiring less cognitive effort). Our data analyses have shown that one may reduce the (odd) number of
scale points from eleven to nine or seven, depending on what minor compromises one is willing to make. The detailed psychometric results presented in this paper are useful to applied researchers as they help them in making well-informed decisions on the number of scale points in a GPC task.

In market research, it is common practice to measure individuals’ brand or product preference through graded paired comparisons (GPCs). One important decision concerns the (odd) number of scale points (e.g., five, seven, nine, or eleven) that has to be assigned to either brands or products in each pair. Using data from an experiment with 122 students, we assessed the extent to which GPCs with a higher number of scale points (requiring more cognitive effort) really outperform GPCs with a smaller number of scale points (requiring less cognitive effort). Our data analyses have shown that one may reduce the (odd) number of
scale points from eleven to nine or seven, depending on what minor compromises one is willing to make. The detailed psychometric results presented in this paper are useful to applied researchers as they help them in making well-informed decisions on the number of scale points in a GPC task.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Sociology
Dewey Decimal Classification:300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology
Uncontrolled Keywords:Graded / ordered / constant sum paired comparisons - Preference measurement - Measurement validity
Language:English
Date:2013
Deposited On:19 Apr 2012 09:19
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 15:46
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:0033-5177
Additional Information:The original publication is available at www.springerlink.com
Publisher DOI:10.1007/s11135-012-9695-2
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-61745

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