Published: Jan 2009
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Just-about-right (JAR) scales are commonly used in consumer research to identify whether product attributes are perceived at levels that are too high, too low, or just about right for that product. While at first glance this type of scaling may appear simplistic, the process of developing and analyzing JAR scales is complex. In this manual, the history of JAR scale usage, the mechanics of JAR scale construction, inappropriate and appropriate uses of JAR scales, benefits and risks of use, and case studies that illustrate the many methods for data analysis of these scales are reviewed. Alternatives to JAR scales are also included. Finally, a summary and conclusions are presented. This manual covers the application, construction, analysis, and interpretation of just-about-right (JAR) scales for use in testing with consumers. Defined as bipolar labeled attributes scales, JAR scales measure levels of a product's attribute relative to a respondent's theoretical ideal level. These scales have an anchored midpoint of “just about right” or “just right” and endpoints anchored to represent intensity levels of the attribute that are higher and lower than ideal. The ideal point model  will serve as the conceptual base for JAR scale interpretation. This model is one of several available; however, it is not practical to cover all aspects of ideal point modeling nor to consider other conceptual frameworks, such as preference unfolding  in this manual.
Kraft Foods, Glenview, IL
Parker, Merry Jo
Food Perspectives, Plymouth, MN