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How Best to Present Complex Ecosystem Information in Stated Preference Studies?

Florian V. Eppink, Nick Hanley () and Steven Tucker ()

Ecological Economics, 2019, vol. 158, issue C, 20-25

Abstract: This study examines the most effective way to present complex information in the context of ecosystem service-based assessments of landscape-level decision-making, using choice consistency as a way of measuring what is “most effective”. The experiment compares a verbal presentation of information with a variety of visualisations of the same information in a discrete choice experiment about a catchment management plan in New Zealand. The analysis uses a scale heterogeneity model to identify inter-subject differences in choice consistency, measured as the relative weight of the deterministic and random components of utility. The results indicate that choice consistency is reduced when information is presented visually rather than verbally. Radar graphs reduce choice consistency more than histograms or colour maps. The time required to complete the choice tasks also increased when information was not verbal, suggesting that cognitive processing of verbal and visual information occurs quite differently.

Keywords: Attribute representation; Choice experiment; Graphics; Information processing; Scale variance (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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