Date of this Version

December 1993

Document Type

Discussion Paper

Publication Details

Robert E. Widing II, W. Wayne Talarzyk and Gene Brown (1993) The Effect of Discordant, Concordant and Alphabetical Orderings of Brand Quality Rankings on Decision Making

The authors thank Jan Heide and Gary Crenwelge for their helpful comments on earlier drafts of the manuscript and C. Kent Harrington for his creative programming work. The education division of Tandy Radio Shack Inc. is gratefully acknowledged for their supply of equipment.

School of Business Discussion Paper ; No. 46, Dec. 1993

© Copyright Robert E. Widing II, W. Wayne Talarzyk, Gene Brown and the School of Business, Bond University


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.