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Uncovering the Nexus Between Attitudes, Preferences, and Behavior in Sociological Applications of Stated Choice Experiments

Liebe, Ulf; Mariel, Petr; Beyer, Heiko; Meyerhoff, Jürgen

Multifactorial survey experiments such as stated choice experiments are used more and more frequently in social science research. In this article, based on an experimental study on ethical and political consumption, we explore the potential of hybrid choice models to explicitly model latent psychological factors such as attitudes, overcoming a possible endogeneity bias and misrepresentation of causality. To this end, we employ a hybrid latent class choice model (HLCCM) in which the latent class structure allocates individuals to classes according to underlying latent attitudes that also influence the answers to attitudinal questions. This allows, in line with sociological action theories, a theory-guided testing of preference segmentation and modification caused by attitudes. We compare the complex HLCCM with less complex models that do not take the latent variable nature of attitudes into account and discuss in which cases less complex models might be more appropriate. However, the HLCCM always has the advantage of providing structure for theory testing and is therefore a useful tool to uncover preference heterogeneity, preference modification, and decision-making processes in sociological and other social science research.
Published in: Sociological Methods & Research, 10.1177/0049124118782536, SAGE
  • Dieser Beitrag ist mit Zustimmung des Rechteinhabers aufgrund einer (DFG geförderten) Allianz- bzw. Nationallizenz frei zugänglich.
  • This publication is with permission of the rights owner freely accessible due to an Alliance licence and a national licence (funded by the DFG, German Research Foundation) respectively.