Responses from many procedures used in market, survey, and sensory research are categorical. Familiar examples include rating category responses on rating scales to measure sensory intensity or liking as words, symbols, or numbers on a scale. Other examples are choices made among alternatives in difference or preference tests. Descriptive analysis can also be viewed as a special type of categorical response procedure in which a group of trained panelists provide categorical response procedure in which a group of trained panelists provide categorical data on sensory intensity. Descriptive analysis can be a useful tool for consumer products companies to assist in quality assurance, product development and, in concert with methods such as Landscape Segmentation Analysis, predict consumer liking. However, the information one eventually derives from any kind of trained panel is only as good as the effectiveness of the training procedures one uses.
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Category Learning and Feedback in Panel Training
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This technical report also appears in our book, Tools and Applications of Sensory and Consumer Science.