Thinking and Reasoning 7 (1):29 – 49 (2001)
In this article we describe research methods that are used for the study of individual multiattribute evaluation processes. First we explain that a multiattribute evaluation problem involves the evaluation of a set of alternatives, described by their values on a number of alternatives. We discuss a number of evaluation strategies that may be applied to arrive at a conclusion about the attractiveness or suitability of the alternatives, and next introduce two main research paradigms in this area, structural modelling and process tracing. We argue that the techniques developed within these paradigms all have their advantages and disadvantages, and conclude that the most promising technique to detect the true nature of the evaluation strategy used by a judge seems to be the analysis of verbal protocols. At the same time we think it is wise not to rely on just one technique, but to use a multimethod approach to the study of multiattribute evaluation processes whenever that is possible.
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