Malleable Conjoint Partworths: How the Breadth of Response Scales Alters Price Sensitivity
Forthcoming, Journal of Consumer Psychology
35 Pages Posted: 6 Dec 2012
Date Written: December 5, 2012
Survey instruments such as conjoint tasks and pricing surveys are intended to reveal respondents’ price sensitivity. This research finds, however, that seemingly trivial aspects of these instruments can alter measured price sensitivity. This research examines the impact of innocuous questions that often precede a main conjoint task, such as demographic and usage-related screening questions. The findings demonstrate that whether these prior questions use broad (i.e., few scale points) or narrow (i.e., many scale points) response categories, systematically influences consumers’ price sensitivity in a CBC (Choice Based Conjoint) study. The research provides preliminary evidence that this occurs because the narrow (vs. broad) response categories in the prior questions leads to consideration of a greater (vs. fewer) number of attributes during the key conjoint task, consequently altering the importance weight associated with price.
Keywords: Response scales, Number of scale points, Categories, Price sensitivity, Conjoint, Pricing
JEL Classification: M31
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation