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Workshop III
Mental representations
and discrete choice behaviour
State of the art and avenues for future research
Theo Arentze
Benedict Dellaert, Geert Wets
Caspar Chorus, Harmen Oppewal
• To discuss new perspectives emerging from
• recent new developments in the area of models and
data collection to integrate mental representations in
discrete choice models
− Dedicated (online) tools provide scaleability
− Apporaches to integrated model development
• Paper presentations
− An interactive computer-based interface to support discovery of
individuals’ mental representations and preferences in decision
problems - Geert Wets
Discussant: Caspar Chorus
− Online measurement of mental representations of complex
decision problems - Benedict Dellaert
Discussant: Harmen Oppewal
• Discussion of several key themes
• Wrap-up and conclusions
Attitudes / concepts /
values not related to a
specific choice task
Mental representation of a
specific choice problem
Trade-off between
attributes is invariant
motivations / benefits
Qualitative in a separate
stage (e.g., focus groups)
Integrated with choice
Dedicated (online) tools
provide scaleability
Model developments
Bayesian network model
Joint MR and choice
Reveals what is underneath
individuals choice behavior
• Why this approach – what are the gains?
• Improved prediction of choice behavior?
− One-layer multi-attribute models may fit equally well?
− Changes in behavior in (radically) new situtations
• Better understanding of the behavior
− Extends the idea of individual-level modeling
− Particularly relevant when interpretations of
consequences are a-priori unclear
MRs of risk
MRs of strategic behavior in decision questions
MRs of political program choices
Influence of group discussion / assumed role
− Offers new meaningful ways for segmentation
Discussion cont’d
• Supporting policy making
− ‘More buttons to push’
− Communication of policies – effective framing
− Innovation in policy making
Discussion cont’d
• What is it that we measure? – caveats
• Explanatory value of elicited cognitions?
− More than just rationalisations / justifications / errorprone reconstructions?
• Influence of measurement
− Framing effects and order effects
• Combine with additional data
− Non-verbal approaches (e.g., response time)
− Information search behaviour (or eye tracking)
• Operational models and online data collections tools
are now available to integrate mental representations
and discrete choice models
• Has value particularly in terms of better
understanding, policy making and communication
• Opened up new perspectives for application areas
and further development