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Exploring unspoken words: using ZMET to depict family vacationer mental models

Advances in Hospitality and Leisure

ISBN: 978-0-7623-1489-8, eISBN: 978-1-84950-524-6

Publication date: 27 May 2008


This study adopted the Zaltman Metaphor Elicitation Technique (ZMET) because of its sophisticated imaging techniques in eliciting mental models. Scholars across disciplines have been exploring paradigms beyond positivism due to the question about the adequacy of quantitative measures to capture complete accounts and to deal with vital problems. The marketing literature also advocates the need of a new methodology to examine consumers’ underlying thought and behavior that might help alleviate the industry's inability to translate research findings directly into practices. This study elicited tourists’ mental models, which were depicted on an integrated consensus map with three metaphoric themes. Marketers might translate these metaphoric themes directly into practices. The results of this study strongly support the use of qualitative methodology, more specifically the ZMET, as a means for obtaining the underlying tourists’ behavior that often remain far beyond the reach of traditional research methods.


Chen, P.-J. (2008), "Exploring unspoken words: using ZMET to depict family vacationer mental models", Chen, J.S. (Ed.) Advances in Hospitality and Leisure (Advances in Hospitality and Leisure, Vol. 4), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 29-51.



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