Deakin University

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A comparison of three laddering techniques applied to an example of a complex food choice

journal contribution
posted on 2004-09-01, 00:00 authored by Georgie RussellGeorgie Russell, A Busson, I Flight, J Bryan, J A van Lawick van Pabst, D N Cox
Laddering techniques (means-end-chains) have become popular as a means of understanding consumers' motivations for (food) product choice. Comparisons of the output of interview (soft) laddering (SL, n=49) were made with two forms of questionnaire-based (hard) laddering, pencil-and-paper (PL, n=46) and computerised presentations (CL, n=45). Within the context of mothers choosing breakfast for their children, the aim was to assess whether the form of administration would have a differential effect upon results.The laddering methods produced different results. Hard laddering produced more ladders (CL > PL > SL; p<0.01) when values were excluded whereas SL produced more linkages between levels of abstraction (SL > CL > PL; p<0.01), though constructs were similar across all groups. Differences were attributable to administration, which in turn was interpreted to be attributable to differences in participants' cognitive processing, specifically: memory recall (SL) versus recognition (PL and CL). The SL primary result, the hierarchical value map, was difficult to interpret and, contrary to previous literature, the results question the use of SL when a succinct understanding of complex food choices is the aim of the study. © 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.



Food Quality and Preference






569 - 583



Publication classification

CN.1 Other journal article