• Choice experiments;
  • direct questions;
  • hypothetical bias;
  • indirect questions;
  • inferred valuation;
  • social desirability bias;
  • stated preference techniques;
  • willingness to pay
  • Q51


Contrary to conventional stated preference valuation techniques that employ a direct questioning approach, the inferred valuation method utilises indirect questioning where respondents are asked for their belief regarding others’ values for a good or service. In this study, using choice experiments, we compare the results obtained through the two valuation techniques for environmental features of the Burren landscape in western Ireland. Consistent with previous studies, stated values using the conventional approach are found to be significantly higher than those obtained through the inferred valuation approach. In particular, this study highlights the dissimilarities in relative preferences observed between the two landscape attributes (rocky limestone pavements and orchid-rich grasslands) from the two questioning formats. While respondents were indifferent between the two habitats, they believed the ‘average other’ to be significantly more concerned about the conservation of the rocky limestone pavements. We attribute this divergence in preferences to be a consequence of additional normative motives perceived by respondents with regard to the conservation of orchid-rich grasslands.