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Appears in Collections:Economics Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Position Bias in Best-Worst Scaling Surveys: A Case Study on Trust in Institutions
Authors: Campbell, Danny
Erdem, Seda
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Keywords: Best-worst scaling
position bias
consumer trust
multinomial logit model
latent class logit model
Issue Date: Mar-2015
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Citation: Campbell D & Erdem S (2015) Position Bias in Best-Worst Scaling Surveys: A Case Study on Trust in Institutions, American Journal of Agricultural Economics, 97 (2), pp. 526-545.
Abstract: This paper investigates the effect of items' physical position in the best-worst scaling technique. Although the best-worst scaling technique has been widely used in many fields, the literature has largely overlooked the phenomenon of consumers' adoption of processing strategies while making their best-worst choices. We examine this issue in the context of consumers' trust in institutions to provide information about a new food technology, nanotechnology, and its use in food processing. Our results show that approximately half of the consumers used position as a schematic cue when making choices. We find the position bias was particularly strong when consumers chose their most trustworthy institution compared to their least trustworthy institution. In light of our findings, we recommend that researchers in the field be aware of the possibility of position bias when designing best-worst scaling surveys. We also encourage researchers who have already collected best-worst data to investigate whether their data shows such heuristics.
Type: Journal Article
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Rights: © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Affiliation: Economics

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