Paired comparison


Very easy to use technique to rank order stimuli (products) with respect to some quality (e.g. enjoyment); also easy to do for children; goes back to early (1920’s) test and scale development techniques; paired comparison data can be transformed in ordering stimuli.


All possible pair combinations of stimuli are presented to the participant, who is asked to select the ‘best’ (or most attractive, or most fun, etc) of the pair (forced choice). Data from all participants is pooled together and processed to provide an ordering of the stimuli set


well established approach; easy to use, also by children; can be used in different settings


not suitable if set of stimuli is large, since then the number of pairs to be presented becomes too large to handle; if the quality on which the participants need to judge the pairs is not onedimensional, the results will be ‘messy’

References describing the method

general information

References about quality of the method

most test development and/or social science handbooks will provide further details


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