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8 = s. b Characteristics with Intensities that Vary in an Absolute Sense A characteristic which is possessed by a given brand in greater or lesser intensity and which can be ranked only with respect to that intensity I shall view as differing absolutely among members of the product group. The interbrand distance between goods on the scaling interval [0,100] represents a consensus among relevant agents of an economy at a particular time, reflecting their conceptual and perceptual differences and subjective uncertain ties.
Moreover, throughout our theory and modeling the notion of "cognitive distancing" of products in such a space is employed. A second - and more recent - approach to the analysis of product characteristics is that of Lancaster (1966,1971,1972,1975,1979,1991) which treats commodities as variable bundles of qualities within a linear characteristics space, with consumers' preferences defined over such variables rather than commodities per se. It is described in Chapter 5. Within this framework the analysis can draw upon the substantial body of techniques developed for the analysis of linear technologies, with attendant advantages and disadvantages.
If three brands are dark red, light red, and blue in color, the first and second can be scaled on the attribute scale as a variable and the third placed at 100 from the first two. 3 METHODOLOGIES FOR QUASI-MEASUREMENT OF CHARACTERISTICS: PREFERENCES INCLUDED In subsection 2a of Chapter 1 characteristics are presented as physical properties or as abstract properties in whose measurement the psychological attitudes of the subject entered only perceptually. Specifically, the tastes or preferences of the individual were assumed to be neutral.