As part of the factorial survey, also called vignette analysis, attitudes and opinions are collected by means of so-called vignettes. The basic concept of vignette analysis is no different from the conjoint analysis, which can also be called a factorial survey.
A vignette is a short story consisting of individual vignette modules (factors or characteristics), a description of a situation or a person, whose composition is varied systematically and factorially. The vignettes constructed in this way are presented to the respondents for assessment on the basis of a predetermined assessment scale. The purpose of the subsequent statistical analysis is to establish the importance of each factor in vignette judgments and to identify and explain differences between respondents or groups of respondents.
The peculiarity of the vignette analysis as well as the conjoint analysis is therefore mainly in the special survey design and not in the statistical analysis. The essential difference to a classic survey design is that it allows us to approach highly situational issues, as the respondents are confronted with concrete vignette scenarios and not with individual, abstract questions. It can thus be attempted to circumvent the problem of socially desirable answers.
The factorial survey is usually only part of an entire questionnaire, in which further characteristics of the person interviewed are collected, which can then also be included in the analysis of the vignette judgments.
Contrary to the conjoint analysis, the vignettes in the analysis are usually not ranked but ranked on a scale (rating). The interviewee should keep the already answered vignettes in mind in order to evaluate them in relation to each other.