Tree taxonomy

To avoid the implication that concepts are always properly sorted into rows and columns, the tree diagram in Figure 11.4 illustrates how they can also be displayed in a network form. This taxonomy shows how a respondent might classify motorcars when they are asked the question: 'What kinds of car are there?' As the respondent continues in the interview, they might next be asked: 'What kinds of car do you call luxury sport?' or 'What kinds of car do you call cross-country?' and so on.

Componential analysis may be used as a way to help clarify categories, making it clear why a particular label is assigned to a particular object. We ask for

Motorcars

Luxury sports Standard cars Cross-country Sports

Jaguar

Ferrari Estates

Hatchbacks Jeep

Lamborghini Saloons

Ford

Land Rover MG Mazda

Vauxhall

Vauxhall

Vauxhall

Ford

FIGURE 11.4

Taxonomy of cars

Smallest group of discriminating features

Smallest group of discriminating features

Lamborghini Ferrari Jaguar Ford

Vauxhall Land Rover MG sports Mazda sports

Lamborghini Ferrari Jaguar Ford

Vauxhall Land Rover MG sports Mazda sports

QSR NUD*IST is good at helping to generate taxonomies.

distinctive features of the sort of objects being taxonomised and aim to find the smallest group of features that discriminates them clearly, as shown in Table 11.3.

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