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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

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Hess, Stephane & Hensher, David A. & Daly, Andrew, 2012. "Not bored yet – Revisiting respondent fatigue in stated choice experiments," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 46(3), pages 626-644.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:transa:v:46:y:2012:i:3:p:626-644 DOI: 10.1016/j.tra.2011.11.008
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. repec:eee:jeborg:v:142:y:2017:i:c:p:47-63 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Aravena, Claudia & Hutchinson, W. George & Carlsson, Fredrik & Matthews, David I, 2015. "Testing preference formation in learning design contingent valuation (LDCV) using advanced information and repetitivetreatments," Working Papers in Economics 619, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
    3. Wardman, Mark & Chintakayala, V. Phani K. & de Jong, Gerard, 2016. "Values of travel time in Europe: Review and meta-analysis," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, pages 93-111.
    4. Menegaki, Angeliki, N. & Olsen, Søren Bøye & Tsagarakis, Konstantinos P., 2016. "Towards a common standard – A reporting checklist for web-based stated preference valuation surveys and a critique for mode surveys," Journal of choice modelling, Elsevier, pages 18-50.
    5. repec:eee:ecolec:v:138:y:2017:i:c:p:64-73 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Mikolaj Czajkowski & Marek Giergiczny & William H. Greene, 2014. "Learning and Fatigue Effects Revisited: Investigating the Effects of Accounting for Unobservable Preference and Scale Heterogeneity," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, pages 324-351.
    7. Uggeldahl, Kennet & Jacobsen, Catrine & Lundhede, Thomas Hedemark & Olsen, Søren Bøye, 2016. "Choice certainty in Discrete Choice Experiments: Will eye tracking provide useful measures?," Journal of choice modelling, Elsevier, pages 35-48.
    8. Czajkowski, Mikołaj & Vossler, Christian A. & Budziński, Wiktor & Wiśniewska, Aleksandra & Zawojska, Ewa, 2017. "Addressing empirical challenges related to the incentive compatibility of stated preferences methods," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, pages 47-63.
    9. Helveston, John Paul & Liu, Yimin & Feit, Elea McDonnell & Fuchs, Erica & Klampfl, Erica & Michalek, Jeremy J., 2015. "Will subsidies drive electric vehicle adoption? Measuring consumer preferences in the U.S. and China," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, pages 96-112.
    10. van Cranenburgh, Sander & Guevara, Cristian Angelo & Chorus, Caspar G., 2015. "New insights on random regret minimization models," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, pages 91-109.
    11. 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, pages 700-716.
    12. Oehlmann, Malte & Meyerhoff, Jürgen & Mariel, Petr & Weller, Priska, 2017. "Uncovering context-induced status quo effects in choice experiments," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 81(C), pages 59-73.
    13. 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, pages 1-11.
    14. Campbell, Danny & Boeri, Marco & Doherty, Edel & George Hutchinson, W., 2015. "Learning, fatigue and preference formation in discrete choice experiments," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 119(C), pages 345-363.
    15. Vecchiato, D. & Tempesta, T., 2013. "Valuing the benefits of an afforestation project in a peri-urban area with choice experiments," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(C), pages 111-120.

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