In the PCS exercise, respondents are exposed to a number of scenarios, usually 6 to 12 presented one at-a-time. On each scenario there are 2 items, typically presented side by side, with respondents being asked to:
- specify the most preferred (or important) item from each scenario (short PCS)
- and possibly also to indicate the extent of the preference (graded PCS).
As in the example above, it is possible to include a neutral point to indicate no preference (or same preference); in this case respondents would not be forced to make a choice between the two items.