Bayesian Analysis

Model-based analysis of concept maps

Edward I. George, Yanliu Huang, and Sam K. Hui

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A concept map is a data collection tool developed in psychology and education to obtain information about mental representations of concept associations. This methodology has recently been introduced to marketing to study consumers' brand perceptions (John et al. (2006); Joiner (1998)) and attitudes towards health risk (e.g., Huang (1997)). In conjunction with other more established methods (e.g., Multidimensional scaling), concept maps provide an additional valuable tool for researchers to understand consumers' structural knowledge about different important marketing concepts.

Building on the introduction by John et al. (2006), we propose a descriptive probability model of concept map formation, along with concept map analyses based on parameter estimates. In particular, we demonstrate how to test hypotheses about differences between two groups of maps, and how to aggregate across individual concept maps to form a "consensus map." To demonstrate our methodology, we apply our model to a dataset that uses concept maps to study college students' perceptions of Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs), an important topic of growing interest in health marketing (e.g., Hill (1988); LaTour and Pitts (1989); Raghubir and Menon (1998); Treise and Weigold (2001)). Though parsimonious in nature, our model adequately recovers map-level, concept-level, and link-level summary statistics commonly considered by other researchers, yet rarely modeled directly.

Article information

Bayesian Anal., Volume 3, Number 3 (2008), 479-512.

First available in Project Euclid: 22 June 2012

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Zentralblatt MATH identifier

concept maps network analysis Bayesian hypothesis testing


Hui, Sam K.; Huang, Yanliu; George, Edward I. Model-based analysis of concept maps. Bayesian Anal. 3 (2008), no. 3, 479--512. doi:10.1214/08-BA319.

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