When Goldilocks made her food and mattress choices, she exhibited a common preference for items of moderate intensity. Instead of the hottest or coldest, softest or hardest, she chose the intermediate points. Even in the case of her furniture choice where she chose the smallest chair, one could easily construct a sufficiently small chair that she would reject. Although there are attributes, such as luxury, fuel efficiency or off-taste, for which it might seem that there is no upper or lower bound on the desired level of the attribute, this is not generally the case. For many consumer products, sensory drivers of consumer liking have non-extreme optimum points for many consumers. Of course, there are people who crave higher and higher intensity and others who retreat to the lowest level of sensory stimulation, but in many cases they sit on the banks of the main flow of consumer choice.
Ennis, D. M. (2005). Analytic Approaches to Accounting for Individual Ideal Points. IFPress, 8(2) 2-3.
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Analytic Approaches to Accounting for Individual Ideal Points
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This technical report also appears in our book, Tools and Applications of Sensory and Consumer Science.