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Complete enumeration or balanced overlap

Dear Forum team,

I am about to conduct a cbc and need a recommendation if complete enumeration or balanced overlap is most suitable for my case.

I am having three attributes with four level each and one of the attributes is a price attribute (able to measure willingness to pay). As I want to test four different treatments I do want to have only one version, so that the choice task are identical in every treatment. At the moment I am planning with three alternatives and 12 choice tasks.

Which approach (complete enumeration or balanced overlap) is best suited from your point of view?

Best regards
asked Nov 11, 2015 by Fabian

1 Answer

0 votes

My preference is usually to go with Balanced Overlap (B0).  Complete Enumeration (CE) is great if respondents are robots, but when you have respondents who are humans you need to take into account their psychology:  humans have lazy brains and those lazy brains look for ways to make difficult choice tasks easy.  One way to make choices easy is to use a heuristic like "always choose the lowest price."  If a respondent does this and you use a CE design, the only thing you can possibly learn about that respondent is that she likes low prices.  With BO designs some choice sets will have overlap that will require respondents to step outside of their heuristics and as a result you will have more opportunity to learn more about their preferences.
answered Nov 11, 2015 by Keith Chrzan Platinum Sawtooth Software, Inc. (93,025 points)