Analyzing semantic networks of pork quality by means of concept mapping

Carola Grebitus, Maike Bruhn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Consumers' quality judgment depends on their knowledge concerning certain quality characteristics. In perceiving and evaluating food quality, the consumers prefer attributes which correspond to concepts already stored in memory. Those attributes are organized in terms of schemas and semantic networks, respectively. To elicit the semantic networks, we apply the innovative, qualitative graphing procedure 'concept mapping' to visualize consumers' semantic networks. We choose pork quality as a research object. In this context, we conducted a survey on the private household level in 2004. Content analysis is used to uncover which quality characteristics are stored in memory. The importance and relative positions of certain attributes within the semantic networks are determined by means of network analysis. This approach enables us to uncover the relations between quality cues and experience and credence quality attributes. The results show that consumers prefer intrinsic quality cues to predict experience quality attributes. In contrast to that extrinsic quality cues are used to predict credence quality attributes. Furthermore, our analysis shows that consumers' semantic networks are quite complex and heterogeneous.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)86-96
Number of pages11
JournalFood Quality and Preference
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Concept mapping
  • Pork quality
  • Schema theory
  • Semantic network analysis
  • Spreading activation network model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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