How to rate 100 visual stimuli efficiently

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21 Citations (Scopus)


Perceptual mapping is a method often employed in design and marketing as a means for visualizing consumer perceptions of product alternatives on the market. Perceptual maps can be computed from two types of data, from attribute ratings or from similarity judgments. In this paper, two computer-based methods are proposed for obtaining attribute rating data, based on multiple attribute scales, for a large number of visual stimuli: The hierarchical sorting method was developed from a strategy commonly employed in paper-and-pencil surveys, whereas the divide-and-conquer method was developed from a strategy often utilized in (computer) sorting of algorithms. In tests that used 100 armchairs as stimuli, it was found that both methods received high scores for simplicity and overall satisfaction in subjective evaluations by the participants. The evaluations, however, also showed that each method had its own advantages. While the divide-and-conquer method produced equivalent results in a significantly less amount of time than the hierarchical sorting method, the hierarchical sorting method was considered to have a higher likelihood of expressing actual opinions than the divide-and-conquer method, due to the fact that a participant using the sorting method could focus on the details of the stimuli after they had been grouped by similarity at the initial stage.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-43
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Design
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 30 Apr 2008


  • Perceptual Mapping
  • Attribute Rating
  • Semantic Differential
  • Hierarchical Sorting
  • Divide-and-Conquer


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