Case 1 best-worst scaling (also known as MaxDiff) designs involve presenting respondents with a number of items and asking them to pick which is “best” and “worst” of the set. More generally, the respondent is asked which items have the most and least of any given feature (importance, attractiveness, interest, and so on). Respondents complete many sets of items in a row, and from this we can learn how the items rate and rank against one another. One of the reasons I like them as a prejudice researcher is that it can help hide the purpose of the measurement tool: If I ask about 13 different items over 13 different trials, but the one about prejudice only comes up in 4 of the 13 trials, it masks what the questionnaire is actually about. But the most standard use cases involve marketing.
There is a lot of literature out there on how to calculate rating scores for items in these designs across the entire sample (aggregate scores) and within a respondent (individual scores). With a focus on the individual-level measurement, I put together a package called
bwsTools that provides functions for creating these designs and analyzing them at both the aggregate and individual level. The package is on CRAN and can be installed by
Some resources to get you started using the package:
An article introducing the package, providing a tutorial, and describing the methods used in the package. See citations within the paper for more details on each method.
A vignette showing how to tidy the data and prepare it in the proper format for analysis using the package.
A vignette showing how to calculate individual scores and how to cluster respondents based on these scores.
The GitHub page for this package, where issues and feature requests can be reported and suggested.