Why is Disjunctive Mapping Important?
We know that people do things—buy an SUV, support the Republican candidate, take a vacation in Florida, fall in love, volunteer to work in a soup kitchen—for a variety of reasons. But we struggle against that diversity when we try to make sense of behavior, looking for unifying themes that explain diverse choices. Until recently we had no practical alternative. We had to collapse the diversity down to what we could comprehend. The price was an inclination to deal in stereotypes, and if we are being more careful and fair minded, to deal in tendencies and averages. This not only left us at the mercy of ideas that often managed to combine ambiguity with a narrowness of vision, but with a systematic inability to recognize Black Swans (powerful but unlikely phenomena) until they were snapping at us.
That we often dress all this up in scientific language and mathematics only conceals its nature. We have removed much of what we know to make the human world seem comprehensible. The advent of affordable, accessible, computers, however, makes dealing with the diversity of human behavior possible. What is required are quantitative tools that, instead of building models that collapse the diversity, create maps that define it and then measure the likelihood of outcomes given the great variety of input combinations. It is a very different approach to analysis but in practice one that simplifies much of the analytic process. There is no need to choose among competing models or be wary of the assumptions that make those models tractable, as no model need be constructed. In addition it treats variables categorically, which correspond to the ways we chunk information, and whose effects can be straightforwardly measured in probabilities.
For starters, Veritec staff invented the concept and application of Disjunctive Mapping and are pioneering its application as a tool for making and interpreting these “probability maps”. While it provides quantitative output, its graphics visualize the influence of variables in context—the combinations in which they are observed—providing access to the likelihood and power of a variable’s effects (the two often do not go together). The tools require little statistical sophistication and are designed to provide an empirically grounded answer the basic practical question: if this happens, what is the likelihood result?
Disjunctive Mapping enables analysts to identify the comparable business conditions that are most relevant when analyzing and optimizing their prices, as well as identify how different customer segments respond. It supports understanding, forecasting, and influencing customer behavior by identifying customer preferences and behavior at the micro-market level and determine how you can best influence customer behavior. It can be applied to questions of public policy and epidemiology.
Contact Veritec today to discuss how we can help you explore the use of Disjunctive Mapping for your business or research analysis.