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Using Conditioning on Observed Choices to Retrieve Individual-Specific Attribute Processing Strategies

Hess, S and Hensher, DA (2010) Using Conditioning on Observed Choices to Retrieve Individual-Specific Attribute Processing Strategies. Transportation Research Part B, 44 (6). 781 - 790 . ISSN 0191-2615

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Abstract

With the growing reliance on Stated Choice (SC) data, researchers are increasingly interested in understanding how respondents process the information presented to them in such surveys. Specifically, it has been argued that some respondents may simplify the choice tasks by consistently ignoring one or more of the attributes describing the alternatives, and direct questions put to respondents after the completion of SC surveys support this hypothesis. However, in the general context of issues with response quality in SC data, there are certainly grounds for questioning the reliability of stated attribute processing strategies. In this paper, we take a different approach by attempting to infer attribute processing strategies through the analysis of respondent-specific coefficient distributions obtained through conditioning on observed choices. Our results suggest that a share of respondents do indeed ignore a subset of explanatory variables. However, there is also some evidence that the inferred attribute processing strategies are not necessarily consistent with the stated attribute processing strategies. Additionally, there is some evidence that respondents who claim to have ignored a certain attribute may simply have assigned it lesser importance. The results produced by the inferring approach not only lead to slightly better fit but also more consistent results.

Item Type: Article
Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information: © 2010 Elsevier. This is an author produced version of a paper subsequently published in Transportation Research Part B. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher's self-archiving policy
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Environment (Leeds) > Institute for Transport Studies (Leeds)
Depositing User: Symplectic Publications
Date Deposited: 16 Dec 2011 10:26
Last Modified: 08 Feb 2013 17:35
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.trb.2009.12.001
Status: Published
Publisher: Elsevier
Identification Number: 10.1016/j.trb.2009.12.001
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/43533

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