Comparing sensory data gathered using different line scales is challenging. We tested whether adding internal labels to a generalized visual analog scale (gVAS) would improve comparability to a typical generalized labeled magnitude scale (gLMS). Untrained participants evaluated cheeses using one of four randomly assigned scales. Normalization to a cross‐modal standard and/or two gLMS transformations were applied to the data. Response means and distributions were lower for the gLMS than the gVAS, but no difference in resolving power was detected. The presence of labels, with or without line markings, caused categorical‐like lumping of responses. Closer low‐end label spacing for gLMS increased influenced participants to mark near higher intensity labels when they were evaluating low‐intensity samples. Although normalization reduced differences between scales, neither transformation nor normalization was supported as appropriate gLMS/gVAS approximation strategies. This study supports previous observations that neither scale offers a systematic advantage and that participant usage differences limit direct scale comparisons.


This is the AAM of Kershaw, JC and Running, CA. (2019) "Data approximation strategies between generalized line scales and the influence of labels and spacing." Journal of Sensory Studies 34: 4. Copyright Wiley, the version of record is available at: https://doi.org/10.1111/joss.12507.

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