A stochastic multidimensional unfolding approach for representing phased decision outcomes

Wayne S. DeSarbo, Donald R. Lehmann, Gregory Carpenter, Indrajit Sinha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


This paper presents a stochastic multidimensional unfolding (MDU) procedure to spatially represent individual differences in phased or sequential decision processes. The specific application or scenario to be discussed involves the area of consumer psychology where consumers form judgments sequentially in their awareness, consideration, and choice set compositions in a phased or sequential manner as more information about the alternative brands in a designated product/ service class are collected. A brief review of the consumer psychology literature on these nested cognitive sets as stages in phased decision making is provided. The technical details of the proposed model, maximum likelihood estimation framework, and algorithm are then discussed. A small scale Monte Carlo analysis is presented to demonstrate estimation proficiency and the appropriateness of the proposed model selection heuristic. An application of the methodology to capture awareness, consideration, and choice sets in graduate school applicants is presented. Finally, directions for future research and other potential applications are given.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)485-508
Number of pages24
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1996

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychology(all)
  • Applied Mathematics


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