Pugh Chart: Definition & Example Video

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

Coming up next: How Systems Use Inputs & Outputs

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:03 Making Choices with…
  • 1:04 The Empty Chart
  • 1:58 Example Set Up
  • 2:54 Example Choosing the Best
  • 4:50 Lesson Summary
Save Save Save

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Log in or Sign up

Speed Speed
Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Laura Foist

Laura has a Masters of Science in Food Science and Human Nutrition and has taught college Science.

There are many different ways to compare options, but in science we often want a quantitative way to compare data. The Pugh chart gives a way to quantitatively compare qualitative data.

Making Choices with Information

Imagine you are with a group of friends, and you are trying to decide where to go out and eat for lunch. There are several things you need to take into account. The price, how good the food is, how close it is, and whether they have allergy-friendly foods. How can you balance each of these concerns and find the best place to eat?

Problems like this are common in the business and science world. We need ways to compare different qualitative options quantitatively. Qualitative information are things that are described using quality or the verbal description. Quantitative means we are measuring something based on a numerical number instead of describing it. One method that has been developed to quantitatively compare qualitative choices is the Pugh chart.

The Pugh chart was developed by Stuart Pugh. Stuart Pugh was a professor at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland. He was a professor of design, so originally the Pugh chart was applied to deciding between design choices. It has since been applied in many different industries.

The Empty Chart

In order to understand the Pugh chart let's first look at an empty chart:

Empty Pugh Chart

In the top row we have spots for four empty spaces. There can be as many empty spaces as we want, but in this example we have four. One of these options needs to be a control, or the option that will be '0' for every criteria.

The first column is criteria. Here we list off everything of interest that we need to compare, such as price, distance, etc.

The second column is weight. Some criteria is more important than other criteria. For example, if it is your friend Jen's birthday, then perhaps her favorite place to eat will carry a heavier weight than every other criteria.

At the bottom of the chart we add everything up. We add up how many pluses, zeroes, and minuses each option got. Then we multiply the pluses by 1, the zeroes by zero, and the minuses by -1. Each of these get added up for the total.

Example Set-Up

Now let's look at an example one for you and your friends to go out to lunch. Together you determine that the criteria for going out to eat is:

  • Price
  • Diversity of food available
  • Food quality
  • Distance from where you currently are
  • If there are allergen-friendly options
  • Sally's favorite restaurant
  • Ben's favorite restaurant
  • Mike's favorite restaurant
  • Jen's favorite restaurant

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about Study.com
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account