Title: Reliability and validity of a long term survey for automobile seat comfort

Authors: M. Kolich, P.L. White

Addresses: Johnson Controls, Inc., 49200 Halyard Drive, Plymouth, MI 48170, USA. ' Johnson Controls, Inc., 49200 Halyard Drive, Plymouth, MI 48170, USA

Abstract: Automobile seat comfort is, undeniably, a subjective construct. In this context, jury evaluations, administered in the form of surveys, are, and will always be, the best way to understand customer/consumer perceptions and expectations of comfort. This is true even in the midst of a movement towards measurement technologies that produce objective data (e.g., pressure distribution, vibration transmissibility, etc.). Overlooked by this movement is the fact that design targets (i.e., human criteria for objective data) cannot be established without considering perceptions of comfort. Given the important role of surveys in the automobile seat comfort development process, it is surprising that well-documented aspects of survey design are given so little attention. The present contribution, while considering the wording of the survey items, the type and number of rating scale categories, the verbal tags associated with the categories, and the interest and motivation of the respondent, delivers a survey with acceptable levels of test-retest reliability, internal consistency, criterion-related validity, and construct validity. These are important attributes, if design decisions are to be made with minimal risk.

Keywords: survey; comfort; automotive seating.

DOI: 10.1504/IJVD.2004.003899

International Journal of Vehicle Design, 2004 Vol.34 No.2, pp.158 - 167

Published online: 10 May 2004 *

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