Marketing Letters

, Volume 3, Issue 1, pp 27–37 | Cite as

A dimensional versus attribute approach for disaggregate choice models

  • Dennis H. Gensch
  • Sanjoy Ghose


A fundamental issue facing choice modelers is to make a decision on what kind of independent variables to include in a choice model. With survey data, the two immediate options are: actual product attributes or underlying latent dimensions (factor scores). Using behavioral logic we argue that heterogeneity of consumer perceptions of variables and their saliences should be the key items moderating such a decision. We present empirical evidence to support our theory that dimensional (factor score) based models do better in terms of predictions than attribute based models in more heterogeneous populations. Empirical analysis shows that in segments (where consumer heterogeneity is lower) the predictive performance of attribute based models improves relative to the factor score model and may actually have a better predictive fit when the respondents are relatively homogeneous with respect to attribute ratings and saliences.

Key words

Actual product attributes underlying latent dimensions consumer perceptions 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Acito, Frank, and Ronald D. Anderson. (1986). “A Simulation Study of Factor Score Indeterminacy,”Journal of Marketing Research May, 111–118.Google Scholar
  2. Bettman, James, and Mita Sujan. (1987). “Effects of Framing on Evaluation of Comparable and Noncomparable Alternatives by Expert and Novice Consumers,”Journal of Consumer Research 14, September, 141–154.Google Scholar
  3. Gensch, Dennis, and Sanjoy Ghose. (1991). “Elimination by Dimensions,” Working Paper.Google Scholar
  4. Gensch, Dennis, Nicholas Aversa, and Steven Moore. (1990). “Integrated Management Science Models That Enabled a New Business to Grow Significant Market Share Against Established Major Competitors,”Interface (January–February), 6–25.Google Scholar
  5. Hauser, John R., and Frank S. Koppelman. (1979). “Alternative Perceptual Mapping Techniques: Relative Accuracy and Usefulness,”Journal of Marketing Research November, 495–506.Google Scholar
  6. Koppelman, Frank S., and John R. Hauser. (1978). “Destination Choice Behavior for Non-Grocery Shopping Trips,”Transportation Research Record 673, 157–165.Google Scholar
  7. Urban, Glen, and John R. Hauser. (1980).Design and Marketing of New Products, Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey.Google Scholar
  8. Yule, G. U., and M. G. Kendall. (1958). “An Introduction to the Theory of Statistics,” Charles Griffin & Company Limited, London.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dennis H. Gensch
    • 1
  • Sanjoy Ghose
    • 1
  1. 1.University of WisconsinUSA

Personalised recommendations