Sawtooth Software: The Survey Software of Choice

A New Approach to Adaptive CBC (2007)

In this paper, Rich Johnson and Bryan Orme from Sawtooth Software take an entirely new approach from their previous attempts at adaptive CBC. The new approach mimics the purchase process of formulating a consideration set using non-compensatory heuristics (such as “must have” or “must avoid” features), followed by a more careful tradeoff of alternatives within the consideration set using compensatory rules.

Adaptive CBC involves three core stages: 1) Build-Your-Own (BYO) Stage, 2) Screening Stage, and 3) Choice Tasks Stage. Rich and Bryan conducted a split-sample experiment comparing the new approach to traditional CBC. They found that respondents liked the adaptive survey more and felt it was more realistic--even though it took about double the time as traditional CBC. Furthermore, part-worths developed from ACBC were more predictive of holdout tasks than traditional CBC, despite the methods bias in favor of CBC for predicting the CBC-looking holdouts.

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