Decision-making experiments and real-world choice behaviour

H.J.P. Timmermans, R.E.C.M. vd Heijden, J. Westerveld

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
157 Downloads (Pure)


This article is concerned with the analysis of consumer spatial choice behaviour using conjoint measurements. The study's objectives are to assess the appropriateness of conjoint measurement to represent a consumer's spatial decision making process, to identify the nature of aggregate utility functions in the context of spatial shopping behaviour, to investigate whether systematic relationships can be found between the nature of the utility functions of the subjects and their socioeconomic background, and finally, to investigate whether utility values obtained under experimental conditions are systematically related to real world choice behaviour. The findings of the study suggest that conjoint measurement is a potentially useful approach to the study of consumer spatial decision-making. Conjoint measurement models provided a good description of individual decision making processes under experimental conditions and the inferred utility functions appeared to be systematically related to real world choice behaviour. The analysis also showed that subjects could be segmented on the basis of the nature of their utility function but no significant associations between the segmentations and a set of socio-economic background variables were found. The article ends with a discussion of some unresolved questions in the application of conjoint measurement in spatial analysis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-48
Number of pages10
JournalGeografiska Annaler B : Human Geography
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1984


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