Attribute Elicitation: Implications in the Research Context<sup>1</sup>
Keywords:Attribute elicitation, cognition, consumer perception, marketing research
AbstractThree different methods of attribute elicitation for two different paper-based products were compared in this study. The three methods used were free elicitation (FE), hierarchical dichotomization (HD), and Kelly's repertory grid (RG). The two paper-based products used in this study were bathroom tissue and paper towels. The methods were compared by abstraction, efficiency in data collection, convergent validity, and respondents' reaction to the task. The results from this comparison indicated that the level of abstraction did not significantly differ between methods or products. However, a rank order analysis revealed that a substantial difference existed with 18 to 20% of the attributes being rated significantly different between the elicitation methods for paper towels and bathroom tissue, respectively. Convergent validity was exhibited between all the methods, although was found to be highest between HD and RG. These findings suggest that all three elicitation methods elicit very similar information from the consumers' knowledge base. The efficiency in data collection revealed that for both products FE took significantly less time to complete the task, as well as to elicit the individual attributes. Furthermore, HD was identified as being the least efficient of the methods for either product. For the comparison of the reaction to task, FE was found to be the least difficult of the three methods and also allowed the respondents to more freely express their opinion.
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