Laddering is a qualitative research technique in which the interviewer asks a series of questions with the aim of identifying higher order drivers of consumer decision making. This entry describes the theoretical foundations of laddering, elaborates its implementation, and discusses different applications.
The laddering method is derived from means-end theory. Central to means-end theory is the notion that individual behavior is driven by personal values or end states that individuals strive for in their lives. It draws on insights from motivation and cognitive psychology and is premised on the belief that product or service attributes serve as a means to satisfy individuals’ higher level consequences (functional and psychosocial) that derive their importance from satisfying personal values or goals. The following means-end chain from a car purchasing ...
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