Skipping Sections in ACBC

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Warning: Skipping sections in ACBC is an advanced capability and should only be undertaken after a careful review of the potential consequences for analysis.  


For certain research situations, you may find that some question types within ACBC just don't seem to make sense in terms of representing the buyer's/chooser's decision-making process.  ACBC is very flexible, supporting the following questionnaire section flow patterns:




3.Choice Tasks

4.BYO + Screening

5.BYO + Choice Tasks

6.Screening + Choice Tasks

7.BYO + Screening + Choice Tasks (this is the suggested, typical ACBC approach)


Moreover, all 7 patterns above support the option of including a Calibration Section.


To obtain an estimate of the None parameter, either the Screening or Calibration sections must be used.


To skip each of the sections, do the following:


Skip BYO Section: From the ACBC Exercise Settings | Attributes dialog, specify that each attribute should not appear in the BYO.


Skip Screening Section:  From the ACBC Exercise Settings | Design dialog, specify 0 screening tasks, 0 Unacceptables, and 0 Must Haves.


Skip Choice Tasks:  From the ACBC Exercise Settings | Design dialog, specify 0 product concepts brought into the choice tournament.


Research presented at the 2013 Sawtooth Software Conference by Fotenos et al. found that skipping the Screening section (pattern 5 above) led to equally good results for predicting complicated holdout choice tasks as the standard pattern 7 (though it did not lead to an estimate of the None parameter).  More research is needed to determine which sections are most valuable under which situations.  


We provide the flexibility in ACBC to customize the experiment to fit the researcher's view of what is most appropriate for each research study.  Perhaps more research will be presented at future conferences that compares different ACBC questionnaire approaches.

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