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An Introduction to Thurstonian Modeling – PART 2

Taught by Dr. John Ennis



As a follow-up of our previous webinar entitled “Introduction to Thurstonian modeling - PART 1”, this presentation will continue our description of the background of Thurstonian modeling and its application to sensory discrimination testing. Like in Part 1, no technical expertise will be assumed as ideas will be presented in a conceptual and easily understandable manner.

Following a brief review of the basic ideas behind Thurstonian modeling, we will explore further how this framework can help us build a relevant and reliable sensory discrimination program. Of particular interest will be the explanation of why the tetrad methodology has recently become a very popular alternative to the triangle test and is on its way to replace a protocol that has historically been the method of choice in a majority of academic and industrial investigations.

We will discuss the concept of precision of measurement and illustrate how rich information can be obtained through the same sensory discrimination testing experimental approaches beyond the more traditional yes/no decision mindset. Thurstonian modeling is again uniquely valuable as it provides insights on which methods have greater precision. For instance, we will explain the possibly counter-intuitive finding that the tetrad test can be a more precise methodology than the generally statistically more powerful 2-alternative forced choice protocol.

We will conclude on other recent advances involving Thurstonian modeling and describe current directions of research to further improve the reliability and relevance of the decision-making process linked to sensory discrimination testing.


This webinar is intended for a general audience of sensory professionals and graduate students. Note that we recommend prospective attendees to be already familiar with Part 1 of this Thurstonian modeling series before attending this webinar as it will help them better grasp the information presented in Part 2. A brief overview of Part 1 will nevertheless be proposed at the start of this webinar to describe the concepts that will be used throughout this follow-up presentation. If you did not attend Part 1 of this webinar and would like a copy of the recording, you can purchase this recording here.

A digital recording of this webinar is available for purchase ($289). 

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