Multiple Hypothesis Testing in Conjoint Analysis

By Guoer Liu and Yuki Shiraito


Conjoint analysis is widely used for estimating the effects of a large number of treatments on multidimensional decision making. However, it is this substantive advantage that leads to a statistically undesirable property, multiple hypothesis testing. Existing applications of conjoint analysis except for a few do not correct for the number of hypotheses to be tested, and empirical guidance on the choice of multiple testing correction methods has not been provided. This paper first shows that even when none of the treatments has any effect, the standard analysis pipeline produces at least one statistically significant estimate of average marginal component effects in more than 90% of experimental trials. Then, we conduct a simulation study to compare three well-known methods for multiple testing correction, the Bonferroni correction, the Benjamini-Hochberg procedure, and the adaptive shrinkage. All three methods are more accurate in recovering the truth than the conventional analysis without correction. Moreover, the adaptive shrinkage method outperforms in avoiding false negatives, while reducing false positives similarly to the other methods. Finally, we show how conclusions drawn from empirical analysis may differ with and without correction by reanalyzing applications on public attitudes toward immigration and partner countries of trade agreements.