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MAUT Analysis

After averaging the results of the six MAUT models, I better understand consumer
attitudes towards the various ways of watching movies. Where the perceptual map indicated little
difference between the alternatives, the MAUT models show that differences do indeed exist. In
general, respondents have a favorable attitude towards watching movies in standard theaters, in
IMAX theaters, and on DVD. They have an unfavorable attitude towards watching unauthorized
movies online, an option that generated the worst average score by far. Standard theaters created
the most favorable attitude on average, but there exists only a 2.05 difference in scores between
standard and IMAX theaters. IMAX seems to be a close competitor to standard theaters. This is a
very useful insight, as the perceptual map did not even include IMAX movies.
Interestingly, these attitudes do not seem to be driven by respondents evaluations of
beliefs. Participants were asked to rank the importance of using movies as a social activity,
getting the chance to relax when watching movies, and watching movies with high quality
picture and sound. The range of importance ratings in the averaged MAUT model is only 0.83,
which indicates that on average, these beliefs are of similar importance to respondents. Results
seem to be driven more by the performance of each alternative on the three belief statements. On
each dimension, unauthorized online movies performed so poorly as to generate a negative
average score where all other scores were positive. Theaters and IMAX were rated within 0.5 of
each other on each belief, which explains their close total scores. Standard theaters surpassed
IMAX ever so slightly, likely because they performed a little better on the more important
dimensions of social and relaxing. Lastly, DVD movies perform somewhere between online
and theater movies for each belief. Clearly, the performance ratings are most prominently driving
the attitudes and causing standard theaters to create the most favorable attitude on average.

Despite its favorable position in the averaged MAUT model, respondents might not
always choose to watch movies in standard theaters. One reason might be that watching movies
in either type of theater is more inconvenient than watching movies at home. Another reason
might be that movie theater tickets are fairly expensive. Due to cost constraints, most
respondents cannot always choose this option. Watching movies in theaters is likely a special
treat for them. In fact, this might also contribute to the high favorability of watching movies in
standard and IMAX theaters. Because they view the option as special, respondents have a more
favorable attitude towards watching movies in theaters.
The two individual-level responses are also useful to discuss. They are most strikingly
different with respect to the DVD score. In model B, DVD movies scored 37 points higher than
in model A, which would lead individual B to choose DVD movies above all else. In contrast,
individual A would be perfectly happy choosing either standard or IMAX theaters, as he or she
sees them as equivalent. This difference likely exists because individual B views DVD movies as
being more relaxing and more social than watching movies in theaters. Individual A believes the
opposite. Additionally, opportunities for social interaction and relaxation are each very important
to individual B, and he or she believes that DVDs perform pretty well on these dimensions.
These beliefs are less important to individual A, and he or she does not think DVDs outperform
theaters on any dimension. It would probably be more difficult to change individual Bs mind,
since the person selected 7s for importance. Since people usually avoid the extremes, this signals
a high level of importance to the person. He or she probably carefully considered how each
option performs on these dimensions, since the beliefs are so important to him or her. Individual
A, in contrast, may not have thought as much about it, since he or she did not select extremes on
the importance scale. This would make it easier to change the mind of individual A.