Glossary of key terms used on this site

There are 52 entries in this glossary.
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Term Definition
Adoption process

The mental process through which an individual passes from first hearing about an innovation to final acceptance.



Affect refers to the experience of feeling or emotion. Affect is a key part of the process of an organism's interaction with stimuli. The word also refers sometimes to affect display, which is "a facial, vocal, or gestural behavior that serves as an indicator of affect".


A person’s consistently favorable or unfavorable evaluations, feelings, and tendencies towards an object or idea. Reference

Benefit screening

Respondent rating of product features, on interest, and possibly on other attributes as well, such as uniqueness, believability, and degree to which the benefit or idea does a specific 'job'. Reference


Cognitive tends to apply to processes such as memory, association, concept formation, pattern recognition, language, attention, perception, action, problem solving and mental imagery. Reference

Cognitive dissonance

Buyer discomfort caused by post purchase conflict. Reference

Concept Qualification Stage

Development of ideas into consumer-validated concepts.


Concept testing

Testing new-product concepts with a group of target consumers to find out if the concepts have strong consumer appeal. Reference

Consumer acceptance

Consumer acceptance can be defined as a positive predisposition toward buying and using a product. Policy makers and managers need to fully understand the multifaceted process by which consumers accept or reject a new food product. Further, if there is acceptance, then the problem is one of understanding how acceptance translates into a market decision to purchase the new product.

Customer-centered new-product development

New product development that focuses on finding new ways to solve customer problems and create more customer satisfying experiences. Reference

Depth interviews

Depth interviews are typically conducted one on one, between an experienced qualitative researcher and a single respondent. Reference

Descriptive analysis

Descriptive analysis is a methodology that provides word descriptions (attributes) of products that also includes the intensities, the strengths for each of those attributes. Reference

Descriptive profiling

Food companies routinely use descriptive profile to define and quantify the sensory characteristics on which products differ. The information provided by descriptive profiles has numerous applications such as product development and improvement, quality control, advertising claim substantiation, as well as understanding both consumer preferences and their relationships with instrumental data. Several descriptive profiling techniques – some of them trademarked – can be found in the sensory evaluation literature. These include the Flavour Profile, the Texture Profile, Quantitative Descriptive Analysis (QDATM), SpectrumTM methods and Quantitative Flavour Profiling. The most frequently used method, referred to as conventional descriptive analysis (DA), is closely related to QDATM. Descriptive analysis is performed by a small number of panellists (from 8 to 15) who provide intensity ratings for a set of selected attributes. It involves three main steps. The first step is product familiarisation and development of a lexicon that comprehensively and accurately describes the product space. This is generally achieved by exposing panellists to many variations of the products and asking them to generate a set of terms that can describe differences among products. The hedonic terms are then eliminated and synonyms or antonyms regrouped in a single term.

Differentiated marketing

A market-coverage strategy in which a firm decides to target several market segments and designs separate offers for each. Reference


A method where the respondent sees a visual stimulus, presented usually via a monitor or large screen and specialized equipment tracks and records their eye-movements as they scan the stimulus. Reference

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