Ratio Versus Magnitude Estimates of Importance Factors
MICHIGAN UNIV ANN ARBOR ENGINEERING PSYCHOLOGY LAB
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Optimal decision making requires that the decision maker trade off various goals or objectives against one another in selecting a course of action. This experiment compared two procedures for assigning importance weights to objectives. The first used magnitude estimates and the second ratio comparisons of importance. The ratio procedure produced substantially greater discrimination between the importance weights assigned to objectives than did the magnitude estimation procedure. A sensitivity analysis revealed, however, that additive evaluation models were relatively insensitive to the differences between the importance weights produced by the two procedures. Additive models based upon the two types of weights assigned very similar overall values to alternatives.
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