Masters Theses


"Currently, many marketing and engineering tools exist to help a designer optimize quantitative attributes of a product, such as height, weight, volume, or cost. However, these methods cannot effectively take into consideration aesthetic attributes of a product, or any other attributes for which there is no understood functional relationship between the attribute's potential values and the consumer's preference. This research has begun the work of developing this necessary functional relationship for the aesthetic attribute of color and has created a methodology for further research. To do this, colors were represented by their red, green, and blue light components, and preference information for each of these attributes was gathered by presenting individuals with a small sample of colors, applied to backpacks, in a short choice survey. A utility function was fit to the preference data points using standard regression methods. The validity of these functions was tested by administering individual-specific follow-up surveys, in which each of the survey questions contained a high, a neutral, and a low utility backpack color, as determined by the utility functions. Individuals chose the high utility color an average of 74% of the time, which is significantly better than random chance. In addition, success rates as high as 87% were achieved in certain instances where greyscale preferences were incorporated into the overall utility function. These results indicate that a large portion of individual preferences were captured by the utility functions, allowing the methodology provided to serve as a foundation for future research"--Abstract, page iii.


Orsborn, Seth D.

Committee Member(s)

Takai, Shun
Grantham Lough, Katie, 1979-


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Degree Name

M.S. in Manufacturing Engineering


Missouri University of Science and Technology

Publication Date

Spring 2010


viii, 41 pages


© 2010 Hannah L. Turner, All rights reserved.

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

File Type




Subject Headings

Choice (Psychology)
Color -- Psychological aspects
Consumers' preferences -- Forecasting
Discrete groups

Thesis Number

T 9630

Print OCLC #


Electronic OCLC #


Included in

Manufacturing Commons