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Not bored yet – Revisiting respondent fatigue in stated choice experiments

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  • Hess, Stephane
  • Hensher, David A.
  • Daly, Andrew
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    Abstract

    Stated choice surveys are used extensively in the study of choice behaviour across many different areas of research, notably in transport. One of their main characteristics in comparison with most types of revealed preference (RP) surveys is the ability to capture behaviour by the same respondent under varying choice scenarios. While this ability to capture multiple choices is generally seen as an advantage, there is a certain amount of unease about survey length. The precise definition about what constitutes a large number of choice tasks however varies across disciplines, and it is not uncommon to see surveys with up to twenty tasks per respondent in some areas. The argument against this practice has always been one of reducing respondent engagement, which could be interpreted as a result of fatigue or boredom, with frequent reference to the findings of Bradley and Daly (1994) who showed a significant drop in utility scale, i.e. an increase in error, as a respondent moved from one choice experiment to the next, an effect they related to respondent fatigue. While the work by Bradley and Daly has become a standard reference in this context, it should be recognised that not only was the fatigue part of the work based on a single dataset, but the state-of-the-art and the state-of-practice in stated choice survey design and implementation has moved on significantly since their study. In this paper, we review other literature and present a more comprehensive study investigating evidence of respondent fatigue across a larger number of different surveys. Using a comprehensive testing framework employing both Logit and mixed Logit structures, we provide strong evidence that the concerns about fatigue in the literature are possibly overstated, with no clear decreasing trend in scale across choice tasks in any of our studies. For the data sets tested, we find that accommodating any scale heterogeneity has little or no impact on substantive model results, that the role of constants generally decreases as the survey progresses, and that there is evidence of significant attribute level (as opposed to scale) heterogeneity across choice tasks.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice.

    Volume (Year): 46 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 3 ()
    Pages: 626-644

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:transa:v:46:y:2012:i:3:p:626-644

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    Related research

    Keywords: Fatigue; Stated choice experiments; Multiple data sets; Willingness to pay; Scale; Learning;

    References

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    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
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    1. Mogens Fosgerau, 2004. "Investigating the distribution of the value of travel time savings," Urban/Regional 0411006, EconWPA.
    2. Caussade, Sebastián & Ortúzar, Juan de Dios & Rizzi, Luis I. & Hensher, David A., 2005. "Assessing the influence of design dimensions on stated choice experiment estimates," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 39(7), pages 621-640, August.
    3. Roy Brouwer & Thijs Dekker & John Rolfe & Jill Windle, 2010. "Choice Certainty and Consistency in Repeated Choice Experiments," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 46(1), pages 93-109, May.
    4. Risa Hole, Arne, 2004. "Forecasting the demand for an employee Park and Ride service using commuters' stated choices," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 11(4), pages 355-362, October.
    5. Bateman, Ian J. & Burgess, Diane & Hutchinson, W. George & Matthews, David I., 2008. "Learning design contingent valuation (LDCV): NOAA guidelines, preference learning and coherent arbitrariness," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 127-141, March.
    6. Hu, Wuyang, 2006. "Effects of Endogenous Task Complexity and the Endowed Bundle on Stated Choice," 2006 Annual meeting, July 23-26, Long Beach, CA 21437, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    7. Guilkey, David K. & Murphy, James L., 1993. "Estimation and testing in the random effects probit model," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 59(3), pages 301-317, October.
    8. Nick Hanley & Robert Wright & Gary Koop, 2002. "Modelling Recreation Demand Using Choice Experiments: Climbing in Scotland," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 22(3), pages 449-466, July.
    9. Mickael Bech & Trine Kjaer & Jørgen Lauridsen, 2011. "Does the number of choice sets matter? Results from a web survey applying a discrete choice experiment," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(3), pages 273-286, March.
    10. Ladenburg, Jacob & Olsen, Søren Bøye, 2008. "Gender-specific starting point bias in choice experiments: Evidence from an empirical study," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 56(3), pages 275-285, November.
    11. Scott J. Savage & Donald M. Waldman, 2008. "Learning and fatigue during choice experiments: a comparison of online and mail survey modes," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 23(3), pages 351-371.
    12. Thomas P. Holmes & Kevin J. Boyle, 2005. "Dynamic Learning and Context-Dependence in Sequential, Attribute-Based, Stated-Preference Valuation Questions," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 81(1).
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    Cited by:
    1. Jacob L. Orquin & Martin P. Bagger & Simone Mueller Loose, 2013. "Learning affects top down and bottom up modulation of eye movements in decision making," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 8(6), pages 700-716, November.
    2. Jones, Luke R. & Cherry, Christopher R. & Vu, Tuan A. & Nguyen, Quang N., 2013. "The effect of incentives and technology on the adoption of electric motorcycles: A stated choice experiment in Vietnam," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 1-11.

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