What Really Helps Us Make a Choice? An Experimental Evaluation of AHP

  • Jacek CypryjańskiEmail author
  • Aleksandra Grzesiuk
  • Kamil Bortko
Conference paper
Part of the Springer Proceedings in Business and Economics book series (SPBE)


In this study, we used a laboratory experiment to test how well AHP is coping with identifying our preferences and what persuades us to accept the AHP outcomes: the result itself or perhaps a “scientific” way of obtaining it. Participants were asked to give rankings at three stages of the experiment: one at the beginning, one after filling in the AHP matrices, and the final one after learning the AHP ranking. Half of the participants were presented with the actual and half with the manipulated AHP ranking. Using nonparametric statistical tests, we found evidence that among the participants of the experiment, the process of filling in the AHP matrices itself had an impact on the final decision. However, the reformulation of the final decisions under the influence of the AHP ranking took place only among the participants who were presented with manipulated results. In addition, the experiment showed that the AHP ranking was more distant from the final ranking than the two previous rankings given by the participants.


Decision analysis Multi-criteria decision making Analytic hierarchy process (AHP) Preferences Experimental economics 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jacek Cypryjański
    • 1
    Email author
  • Aleksandra Grzesiuk
    • 2
  • Kamil Bortko
    • 3
  1. 1.Faculty of Economics and ManagementUniversity of SzczecinSzczecinPoland
  2. 2.Faculty of EconomicsWest Pomeranian University of TechnologySzczecinPoland
  3. 3.Faculty of Computer Science and Information TechnologyWest Pomeranian University of TechnologySzczecinPoland

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