Intensity of preference

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Intensity of preference, also known as intensity preference,[1] is a term used to identify and describe what happens in a process which leads to consensus agreement or consensus ranking.[2] The phrase recognizes that decisions and decision-making involve intensity of feeling about a choice and the choice preference itself.

The concept of preference intensity has been criticized over the past sixty years because of the problems in measuring it.[3] The term is used in economics, politics, marketing and other areas.

History[change | edit source]

Ranking and consensus have been the subject of research for 200+ years.[2] In the 20th century, the term intensity of preference was coined by the work of the economist Kenneth Arrow, who was a recipient of the 1972 Nobel Prize in Economics.[4]

Analysis[change | edit source]

Intensity of preference is a factor in an analysis of how individual choices develop into social choices. Standard election procedures notoriously ignore differences in intensity of preferences.[5]

For example, the intensity of preference is a one of many factors which are important in voting. The term is a measure of an individual voter's (or group of voters') willingness to do something. Intensity of preference focuses on the inconveniences involved in the act of officially registering a choice at a specific time and place, not the vote itself.[6] For example, the lines for voting in South Africa's 1994 election were very long.[7] The "intensity of preference" and the inconvenience of voting were factors in the election of Nelson Mandela.

Related pages[change | edit source]

Notes[change | edit source]

  1. Harvey, Charles M. "Aggregation of individuals' preference intensities into social preference intensity," Social Choice and Welfare, January 1999, Volume 16, Issue 1, pp 65-79; retrieved 2012-12-12.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Cook, Wade D. and Moshe Kress, "Ordinal Ranking with Intensity of Preference," Management Science (US), Vol. 31, No. 1 (Jan., 1985), pp. 26-32; retrieved 2012-12-12.
  3. Farquhar, Peter H. and L. Robin Kelly. "Preference Intensity Measurement," Annals of Operations Research, 19 (1989) 205-217; retrieved 2012-12-12.
  4. Kenneth Arrow at NobelPrize.org; retrieved 2012-12-12.
  5. Sadurski, Wojciech. (1989). Moral Pluralism and Legal Neutrality, p. 35.
  6. Arrow, Kenneth J. (1963). Social Choice and Individual Values, p. 114.
  7. "The Election of Nelson Mandela " at South Africa: A Country Study, 1996; excerpt, "... more than 22 million voters stood in line for hours at some 9,000 polling places to exercise their newly won right to vote"; retrieved 2012-12-12.

Other websites[change | edit source]