Subjects were asked to make absolute judgments and relative ratings of travel expense for a series of hypothetical trips described by varying levels of distance to be travelled, gasoline price, and expected gas mileage. In Experiment 1, intuitive estimates of cost in dollars followed a multiplicative model analogous to the "rational" model but allowing individual differences in evaluating and weighting stimulus factors. In Experiment 2, subjective ratings of relative expense followed an additive model. An additive model implies that an extreme value of one factor will be balanced by more neutral values of other factors, whereas a multiplicative model implies that a single extreme value will have an exaggerated effect. Two interpretations of these disparate findings were considered: either the underlying information integration process differed as a function of how the information was to be used, or response differences were due to transformations of the internal responses to the overt response scale. Experiment 3, in which subjects were required to make both kinds of evaluations, ruled out the response transformation interpretation.
Proceedings of the Iowa Academy of Science
©1976 Iowa Academy of Science, Inc.
Hensley, Valerie S. and Levin, Irwin P.
"Multiplicative and Additive Processes in the Subjective Evaluation of Travel Expense,"
Proceedings of the Iowa Academy of Science, 83(1), 35-39.
Available at: https://scholarworks.uni.edu/pias/vol83/iss1/8