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Perceptual Maps: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

33 Pages Posted: 22 Mar 2010  

John Gower

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Patrick J. F. Groenen

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR)

Michel Van de Velden

Universitat Pompeu Fabra - Faculty of Economic and Business Sciences

Karen Vines

The Open University

Date Written: 25 2010 2,

Abstract

Perceptual maps are often used in marketing to visually study relations between two or more attributes. However, in many perceptual maps published in the recent literature it remains unclear what is being shown and how the relations between the points in the map can be interpreted or even what a point represents. The term perceptual map refers to plots obtained by a series of different techniques, such as principal component analysis, (multiple) correspondence analysis, and multidimensional scaling, each needing specific requirements for producing the map and interpreting it. Some of the major flaws of published perceptual maps are omission of reference to the techniques that produced the map, non-unit shape parameters for the map, and unclear labelling of the points. The aim of this paper is to provide clear guidelines for producing these maps so that they are indeed useful and simple aids for the reader. To facilitate this, we suggest a small set of simple icons that indicate the rules for correctly interpreting the map. We present several examples, point out flaws and show how to produce better maps.

Keywords: perceptual map, correspondence analysis, multiple correspondence analysis, principal component analysis, multidimensional scaling, biplot

JEL Classification: C44, M31, M

Suggested Citation

Gower, John and Groenen, Patrick J. F. and Van de Velden, Michel and Vines, Karen, Perceptual Maps: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (25 2010 2,). ERIM Report Series Reference No. ERS-2010-011-MKT. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1572196

John Gower

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Patrick J. F. Groenen

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) ( email )

P.O. Box 1738
3000 DR Rotterdam, NL 3062 PA
Netherlands

Michel Van de Velden

Universitat Pompeu Fabra - Faculty of Economic and Business Sciences ( email )

Ramon Trias Fargas 25-27
Barcelona, 08005
Spain
(34) 93 542 19 42 (Phone)
(34) 93 542 17 46 (Fax)

Karen Vines

The Open University

Walton Hall
Milton Keynes, MK6 7AA
United Kingdom

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