Date of this Version
A concordant ordering of brands, generated with a computer assisted linear format, an alphabetical listing of brands, and a discordant summary rating of brands were compared on decision quality, user evaluations, and decision time. The decision task was difficult as the decision set contained a large amount of information and negative correlations among the attributes. The computer assisted format was most highly regarded by decision makers, and resulted in superior decision quality in comparison to the other two formats. While the discordant ordering was inferior to the concordant one, it was not significantly worse than an alphabetical ordering. Therefore, the likelihood of misleading independent decision makers is not as high as might be expected, even in a worst case situation. Overall, the computer assisted linear format was superior to the other two formats. It was, however, recommended that this format be positioned as a method to present information in an orderly fashion, and not as a normative decision aid. This is due to a minority of subjects using the linear aid who actually selected the top ranked brand.