Australasian Mathematical Psychology Conference 2019

Discriminating shoppers: Applications of SFT to consumer choice

Gavin Cooper
School of Psychology, University of Newcastle
Guy Hawkins
University of Newcastle

Consumers regularly make multi-alternative, multi-attribute decisions about products and services. The possible decision strategies used by consumers that have been proposed in the literature have been problematic to discriminate between in data. These same decision strategies often share higher level features between them that match the mental architectures that Systems Factorial Technology (SFT) has been developed to discriminate between. These higher level features include when a consumer stops processing information and makes a decision (the stopping rule) and whether information is processed in serial or parallel. We have aimed to categorise previously proposed decision strategies by the architecture and stopping rule they assume, creating sets of strategies that can be ruled in or out through the use of the methods of SFT, which we support with data from a novel experimental task. This extension of SFT into the field of consumer choice presents new opportunities in the discrimination between alternative hypotheses of decision strategies.