Sawtooth Software: The Survey Software of Choice

MaxDiff Technical Paper (2013)

This paper describes the technical procedures used in the MaxDiff System. MaxDiff (best-worst) scaling is a trade-off method for measuring the importance or preference for multiple items, such as brands, product features, political platforms, advertising claims, etc. Any time you are considering using a rating scale, ranking scale, or constant sum scale for multiple items, you can consider using MaxDiff.

The MaxDiff methodology, originally invented by researcher and academic Jordan Louviere, has gained in popularity over the last five years. Papers on MaxDiff have won "best presentation" awards at recent ESOMAR and Sawtooth Software research conferences. It has many similarities to, but is distinctively different, from conjoint methodology and is appropriate for a wider range of research opportunities.

Sawtooth Software’s MaxDiff System may be used for conducting web-based, CAPI, or paper-based MaxDiff studies. The software also supports asking the "best" half of the question only (not requiring respondents to identify the "worst" item in each set). The software may also be used for Method of Paired Comparisons research. Individual-level estimation of item scores employs Sawtooth Software’s popular hierarchical Bayes (HB) engine. Results may also be analyzed with the integrated Latent Class procedure for segmentation analysis.

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