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Assessing Unacceptable Levels in Conjoint Analysis (1987)

This 1987 article by Norein Klein is often cited in the literature. Abstract:

Some adaptive conjoint analysis methods reduce the attribute space by allowing the respondent to state which attribute levels are completely unacceptable. Utilities are not estimated for these levels, and it is assumed in later choice simulations that respondents would never choose alternatives that possess these levels. This procedure allows a more efficient estimation of conjoint utilities, but its value depends on whether the judgments of acceptability are consistent with respondents' behavior in later choices. In the study reported here, 15 percent of all choices contained an attribute level previously designated unacceptable, indicating some inconsistency between the judgments and choices. However, the overall accuracy of choice predictions was unaffected by the initial elimination of alternatives with unacceptable levels. The practical implications of these findings, and the relationship of judgments of acceptability to decision strategies are discussed.

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