Establishing the consumer relevance of a sensory difference is essential to reach a conclusion of ‘similarity’ or ‘difference’ between products. Rousseau and Ennis (2013) propose conducting a designed same-different study using a Thurstonian-derived model to obtain discriminal sensory distances (d’) and the consumer-based threshold tau.
Sensory discrimination test methods are widely used by industry to guide decision-making. Interpretation increasingly relies on Thurstonian-derived models, which use mathematics to encode psychological decision-making rules, and map method-dependent results onto a putative method-independent discriminable distance (d′). It is also possible to estimate the response bias, or tau (τ), in some test methods, such as the same-different test method. Rousseau
Sensory professionals continue to face the challenge of quantifying and accounting for differences in individual panelist performance within their difference testing programs. In this presentation we discuss how recent developments in Thurstonian modeling can be used to track panelist performance over a series of (potentially non-replicated) difference tests within the same product category.