Table 1. Standard methods of quantifying values. See Appendix 1 for additional information.


Method Description Discipline
Visual preference survey, visualization, visual impact assessment Measures tacit manifestations of aesthetic values such as individual preferences for landscapes, architecture, or other features. Provides assessments that are primarily qualitative in nature. Community planning, landscape architecture
Charrette Elicits stakeholder input on a planning process or design using intensive meetings. Incorporates all categories of value into policy without providing explicit value measures. Is primarily qualitative. Policy, planning
Revealed preference tools Infers people’s values from actual choices made, typically in a market context. Examples include hedonic pricing and travel cost methods. Provides quantitative assessments of value, typically in dollar terms. Economics
Stated preference survey Infers tacit manifestations of value through people’s responses to hypothetical survey questions. Examples include contingent valuation and contingent choice. Provides primarily quantitative assessments of value, often in dollar terms. Economics
Interview techniques Ranges from informal discussion to structured surveys. Elicits values through people’s responses. Provides quantitative or qualitative results, sometimes in dollar terms. Sociology, psychology, economics, decision science
Social/civic valuation Measures values that groups place on amenities, either through actual decisions made or through hypothetical questions posed to groups. Examples include results of public referendum and focus groups. Provides qualitative or quantitative results, sometimes in dollar terms. Policy, planning