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From six to 30 items may be studied in Discover-MaxDiff.  The items can be brands, product features, job-related benefits, product packaging (a series of graphics), political positions, health risks, community concerns, economic policies, etc.


Item text should be clear and succinct.

Items should be as specific and actionable as possible.

Items can be multi-level and mutually exclusive.  For example, in a study of fast-food restaurant features, rather than ask about "Fast service" generically, you might create three separate items for measuring specific levels of fast service:

Order and receive food within 3 minutes

Order and receive food within 6 minutes

Order and receive food within 10 minutes

You might decide to prohibit these three items from appearing with one another in the same set by using Item Prohibitions.


You may mix multi-level items with single-level items within the same study.

Graphics are possible!

It is sometimes helpful to create a reference level with monetary meaning.  For example, in studying job-related conditions and benefits, it might be useful to include a level that says: "Receive an immediate $500 bonus."  Or, if studying improvements to a product, we might include a level that says: "Receive a $20 off coupon." In both cases, we can associate a specific item score with a specific and immediate monetary gain.

A Status Quo level can establish a neutral reference point (anchor).  In other studies, such as those studying potential modifications to existing products, services, or (to be more specific) employment conditions, it might make sense to include a reference level reflecting no change; for example, "No change to current work environment."  That way, item scores that might have a negative affect (relative to "no change") can be identified.


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