Testing for Uni-Dimensional Scaling of Stimuli Used in Preference Experiments

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Abstract:

Many animal preference experiments involve test stimuli that have been chosen by the experimenter to represent different strengths of a single attribute. It is assumed that the animals also scale the test stimuli along a single dimension. This paper shows how it is possible to use the 'Unfolding Technique' developed by Coombs(1964) to check the validity of this assumption. A simple experiment is described which used Coombs' technique to verify that three visual test stimuli were ranked by laboratory rats along a single dimension. These stimuli were subsequently used in an experiment to see how different housing conditions changed rats' preferences for visual complexity.

Keywords: ANIMAL WELFARE; EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN; PREFERENCE EXPERIMENTS; SCALING CRITERION

Document Type: Short Communication

Publication date: February 1, 1994

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