The Method of Sorting is a widely-used research tool for quantifying human cognition. It allows informants to provide data that are generally analysed with multidimensional scaling. Here the method was extended to collect additional information. In combination with the Method of Triads, it was applied to 36 brands of cigarette, resulting in a three-dimensional `Cigarette space', where the dimensions correspond to the main criteria on which brands were compared. Previous research, including reports from within the tobacco industry, provides points of comparison. One dimension resulting from tapping into the informants' accumulated expertise was closely correlated with tar content and can be identified as `strength' – in effect, a Strength scale for cigarette brands, allowing the informal distinction between light and heavy smokers to be refined. Other dimensions correspond to other aspects of taste. In a validity test, the map proved to be congruent with the same informants' preferences.
Quality & Quantity – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 17, 2004
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