Response time patterns in a stated choice experiment

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Mogens Fosgerau

This paper studies how response times vary between unlabelled binary choice occasions in a stated choice (SC) experiment, with alternatives differing with respect to in-vehicle travel time and travel cost. The pattern of response times is interpreted as an indicator of the cognitive processes employed by the respondents when making their choices. We find clear signs of reference-dependence in response times in the form of a strong gain-loss asymmetry. Moreover, different patterns of response times for travel time and travel cost indicate that these attributes are processed in different ways by respondents. This may be of particular relevance for choice experiments in the transportation field, where the travel time attribute is central.

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