SMABS 2004 Jena University
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European Association of Methodology

Department of methodology and evaluation research

Jena University

Contributions: Abstract

Conjoint analysis as a commercial method for preference measurement has been available for around thirty years by now. Even in the last decade, its commercial applications have grown immensely and they are still expected to further grow. Simultaneously, marketing research continued to come up both with minor modifications and major relaunches of the method by itself. Nowadays, conjoint's traditional boundaries as a decompositional method of preference elicitation are blurred: On the one hand, refined self-explicated methods like ACA break down preferences into values for levels of attributes, weights for different attributes, and perceptions of alternatives on those attributes. On the other hand, easy-to-use choice-based conjoint systems directly measure tradeoffs with responses to hypothetical choice sets. Given the large variety of methods at hand, the question remains of which method should be used in what context. We reflect major findings from research on consumer behavior and discuss their impact on the design of preference models. Conceptual investigations, experimental findings as well as real-life observations from market research studies provide valuable clues of how to design conjoint studies for specific applications. Above all, the characteristics of a simulated purchase experience and their impact on respondents' behavior are to be kept in mind.