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Can I use raw utilites to calculate average utilities?


In the standard Sawtooth CBC output file, there is a summary tab that shows the average utilities based on Zero Centric Diff utilities.  If instead, I use the raw utilities to calculate average utility - will that be technically incorrect?  What cautions will I have to follow in that case?

Thank you in advance,
asked Jun 14, 2018 by anonymous

1 Answer

0 votes
You can compute averages of utilities, yes, even of raw utilities.  

We usually recommend using the ZCD utilities for the following reason:  in a logit model, utilities contain a scale factor that is related to respondent consistency.  That means that in the raw utilities respondents who answer with greater consistency will tend to have larger (larger positives and larger negatives) utilities while those who answered with less consistency will tend to have smaller utilities (smaller negatives and smaller positives).  The ZCD utilities are transformed to put all respondents' utilities on as similar of scales as we can.
answered Jun 14, 2018 by Keith Chrzan Platinum Sawtooth Software, Inc. (103,225 points)