Title

Optimal Number of Factors for Choice Experiments in Mining Community Consultation/Surveying

Presenter Information

Brittney Abel

Department

Psychological Science

Major

Psychological Science

Research Advisor

Klein, Brandi
Awuah-Offei, Kwame, 1975-

Advisor's Department

Psychological Science

Second Advisor's Department

Mining Engineering

Funding Source

OURE Fellows Program

Abstract

This study used choice experiments of different variable ranges to investigate the optimal number of variables that should be used in choice experiments. Too many variables to consider on a choice experiment can increase participants’ cognitive load to the point that it becomes a burden, and they begin to make choices that aren’t in line with their actual beliefs. Choice experiments allow researchers to assess participants’ preferences regarding mining projects in their community. An online-based tool called Qualtrics was used to collect data (i.e., demographic information, choice experiment preferences, effort ratings, and difficulty ratings). Results indicate that participants exerted more mental effort as the number of variables increased from three to six, and they rated each level as significantly more difficult than the previous level. There is also some evidence that four variables is the optimal number of variables to use in choice experiments. These results suggest that mining communities that use choice experiments for community consultation should be aware of the demands of cognitive load and limit the number of variables they use to four.

Biography

Brittney Abel is a senior in the Psychological Science Department. She helped found the first psychology club of Missouri S&T history, PsyCo. While she’s not club activities, she spends her time volunteering in the Rolla Community. In her spare time she enjoys playing softball, racquetball, video games, and walking her dog. “Working with engineering students was quite an interesting experience and I am thankful to get the opportunity. They contributed such a different perspective than what I’m used to. Our group was really balanced out in intellect, skills, and views.”

Research Category

Social Sciences

Presentation Type

OURE Fellows Final Oral Presentation

Document Type

Presentation

Award

Fellows 13-14 Final Stipend

Location

Carver Room

Presentation Date

16 Apr 2014, 2:00 pm - 2:30 pm

Comments

Joint project with Rachel Stancil-Bacon, Reinhold Schnell, Jordan Verslues

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Apr 16th, 2:00 PM Apr 16th, 2:30 PM

Optimal Number of Factors for Choice Experiments in Mining Community Consultation/Surveying

Carver Room

This study used choice experiments of different variable ranges to investigate the optimal number of variables that should be used in choice experiments. Too many variables to consider on a choice experiment can increase participants’ cognitive load to the point that it becomes a burden, and they begin to make choices that aren’t in line with their actual beliefs. Choice experiments allow researchers to assess participants’ preferences regarding mining projects in their community. An online-based tool called Qualtrics was used to collect data (i.e., demographic information, choice experiment preferences, effort ratings, and difficulty ratings). Results indicate that participants exerted more mental effort as the number of variables increased from three to six, and they rated each level as significantly more difficult than the previous level. There is also some evidence that four variables is the optimal number of variables to use in choice experiments. These results suggest that mining communities that use choice experiments for community consultation should be aware of the demands of cognitive load and limit the number of variables they use to four.