, Volume 78, Issue 2, pp 322–340 | Cite as

A New Zero-Inflated Negative Binomial Methodology for Latent Category Identification

  • Simon J. Blanchard
  • Wayne S. DeSarbo


We introduce a new statistical procedure for the identification of unobserved categories that vary between individuals and in which objects may span multiple categories. This procedure can be used to analyze data from a proposed sorting task in which individuals may simultaneously assign objects to multiple piles. The results of a synthetic example and a consumer psychology study involving categories of restaurant brands illustrate how the application of the proposed methodology to the new sorting task can account for a variety of categorization phenomena including multiple category memberships and for heterogeneity through individual differences in the saliency of latent category structures.

Key words

categorization unobserved categories heterogeneity sorting task consumer psychology 



This article is based on parts of the first author’s doctoral dissertation, and he would like to thank Meg Meloy, Duncan Fong, and Richard Carlson whose feedback helped improve the contribution and quality of this manuscript. The authors also wish to thank the entire review team including the Editor, Associate Editor, and four anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments.


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Copyright information

© The Psychometric Society 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.McDonough School of BusinessGeorgetown UniversityWashingtonUSA
  2. 2.Department of MarketingPennsylvania State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA

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