Pair comparison experiment psychology

 Pair comparison             experiment

Introduction-The method of paired comparisons is a simple and direct way of collecting judgement data. The judge is presented with two objects (or ‘stimuli’) and has to decide which object is ‘x-er’ – in other words which object possesses more of a specified attribute, ‘x’.

Name of the experiment: Pair Comparisons

Purpose: To obtain the preference for actors on the basis of acting ability.

The points to ponder, given at last, should be discussed with the students before starting the experiment

Subject’s details: Name…………..

Age…………………………, Educational


Material used: Cards containing the pairs that have to be compared, pen, paper, z table, metronome.


Preliminary setup: The names of seven actors were chosen. Pairs were made following Guilford’s formula. Cards were made containing one pair on each card. Rj matrix (choice matrix) was made to take the responses of the subject. The metronome was set at one tick per second.

Procedure- The subject was called and seated comfortably. A rapport was established during which her/his details were sought. Thereafter, she was given the following instructions-“I would be showing you certain cards. Each card would have a pair of two actors. You have to give your preference for one of the two in terms of their acting skills.’’After giving the instructions cards were shown one by one to the subject with an exposure period of 2 seconds only. The responses of the subject are noted in choice matrix. The data of 9 more subjects was pooled with the data of the subject. The frequency matrix is prepared from the pooled data. Thereafter proportion (p) matrix is prepared from the frequency matrix. With the help of z table, z matrix was prepared from the p matrix. A preference scale for the group is prepared on the basis of rank judgements.


(1) Every name appeared equally on the right and on the left to control the space error.

(2) The position of any stimulus on the right and left was alternated.

(3) Subjects were matched for age, gender, education etc. (for pooled data).


Table 1 Choice matrix of individual subject 

Table-2 Frequency matrix of pooled data

Table-3 Proportion matrix

           Table-4 Z matrix

(4) Preparing a preference scale (RJ scale)

In the given data the least negative value is 0.15, thus + 0.15 is added to each value of column and that give us the corresponding scale value of each stimulus. Providing us the rank judgement value.

When these scale values are shown in preference scale Akshay Kumar got the highest value hence it can be concluded that he was preferred the most by subjects compared to other actors.

In the end you have to write interpretation of the experiment with yourself.

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