This paper examines the attributes that consumers use when making product similarity judgments and their effect on similarity scaling. Previous research suggests that concrete brands are judged using dichotomous features while more abstract product categories are judged using continuous dimensions. This, in turn, suggests that the appropriateness of spatial scaling increases relative to tree scaling as one moves from brands to product categories. The results of two studies support an increase in the fit of spaces relative to trees from brands to categories. However, the abstractness of the judgments appears to be driving the effect, not the use of features or dimensions.
Johnson, M. D., Lehmann, D. R., Fornell, C., & Horne, D. A. (1992). Attribute abstraction, feature-dimensionality, and the scaling of product similarities[Electronic version]. Retrieved [insert date], from Cornell University, School of Hotel Administration site: http://scholarship.sha.cornell.edu/articles/685