Stevens (1946) said, ‘Scaling is the assignment of objects to numbers according to a rule’. Thurstone also created two additional methods of building unidimensional scales—the method of successive intervals and the method of paired comparisons—which are both very similar to the method of equal-appearing intervals, other than the way judges are asked to rate the data. Download and Read online Biophysical Measurement in Experimental Social Science Research, ebooks in PDF, epub, Tuebl Mobi, Kindle Book.Get Free Biophysical Measurement In Experimental Social Science Research Textbook and unlimited access to our library by created an account. For instance, we can create a customer satisfaction indicator with five attributes: strongly dissatisfied, somewhat dissatisfied, neutral, somewhat satisfied, and strongly satisfied, and assign numbers one through five respectively for these five attributes, so that we can use sophisticated statistical tools for quantitative data analysis. For each item, compute the median and inter-quartile range (the difference between the 75th and the 25th percentile—a measure of dispersion), which are plotted on a histogram, as shown in Figure 6.1. Each item in this scale is a binary item, and the total number of “yes” indicated by a respondent (a value from 0 to 6) can be used as an overall measure of that person’s political activism. To understand how these items were derived, refer to the “Scaling” section later on in this chapter. Nominal scales merely offer names or labels for different attribute values. For instance, one can create a political typology of newspapers based on their orientation toward domestic and foreign policy, as expressed in their editorial columns, as shown in Figure 6.2. Again, this process may involve a lot of subjectivity. Theoretical propositions consist of relationships between abstract constructs. Are there different kinds of prejudice, and if so, what are they? While defining constructs such as prejudice or compassion, we must understand that sometimes, these constructs are not real or can exist independently, but are simply imaginary creations in our mind. Louis Thurstone. Semantic differential is believed to be an excellent technique for measuring people’s attitude or feelings toward objects, events, or behaviours. Since most scales employed in social science research are unidimensional, we will next three examine approaches for creating unidimensional scales. Designed by Louis Guttman, this composite scale uses a series of items arranged in increasing order of intensity of the construct of interest, from least intense to most intense. Guttman, L. A. Sorted rating matrix for a Guttman scale. This process allows us to examine the closeness amongst these indicators as an assessment of their accuracy (reliability). This matrix is sorted in decreasing order from judges with more ‘yes’ at the top to those with fewer ‘yes’ at the bottom. More formally, scaling is a branch of measurement that involves the construction of measures by associating qualitative judgments about unobservable constructs with quantitative, measurable metric units. Science, Tech, Math Science Math Social Sciences Computer Science Animals & Nature Humanities History & Culture Visual Arts Literature English Geography Philosophy Issues Languages English as a Second Language With a lot of statements, this approach can be enormously time consuming and unwieldy compared to the method of equal-appearing intervals. But how do we create the indicators themselves? Though this appears simple, there may be a lot of disagreement among judges on what components (constructs) should be included or excluded from an index. Biophysical Measurement in Experimental Social Science Research is an ideal primer for the experimental social scientist wishing to update their knowledge and skillset in the area of laboratory-based biophysical measurement. Levels of measurement , also called rating scales , refer to the values that an indicator can take (but says nothing about the indicator itself). Measurement is the process of observing and recording the observations that are collected as part of a research effort, e.g. The importance of good measurement has long been recognized in principle, but it has often been neglected in practice in many of the social sciences. Monotonically increasing transformation (which retains the ranking) is allowed. Allowed scale transformation are positive linear. The CPI is a measure of how much consumers have to pay for goods and services in general, and is divided into eight major categories (food and beverages, housing, apparel, transportation, healthcare, recreation, education and communication, and ‘other goods and services’), which are further subdivided into more than 200 smaller items. Attaching a rating scale to a statement or instrument is not scaling. For instance, the construct “attitude toward national health insurance” can be measured using four items shown in Table 6.4. Are there different levels of prejudice, such as high or low? We also discussed the requirements a measurement must meet to provide these benefits and showed several examples of effective measurements. In the end, researcher’s’ judgment may be used to obtain a relatively small (say 10 to 15) set of items that have high item-to-total correlations and high discrimination (i.e., high -values). Each item in the above Guttman scale has a weight (not indicated above) which varies with the intensity of that item, and the weighted combination of each response is used as an aggregate measure of an observation. A formative indicator is a measure that ‘forms’ or contributes to an underlying construct. The three approaches are similar in many respects, with the key differences being the rating of the scale items by judges and the statistical methods used to select the final items. Notice that the scale is now almost cumulative when read from left to right (across the items). Another example of index is socio-economic status (SES), also called the Duncan socio-economic index (SEI). Indicators may be reflective or formative. These very different measures are combined to create an overall SES index score, using a weighted combination of “occupational education” (percentage of people in that occupation who had one or more year of college education) and “occupational income” (percentage of people in that occupation who earned more than a specific annual income). For instance, diamonds can scratch all other naturally occurring minerals on earth— hence diamond is the ‘hardest’ mineral. Note that any item with reversed meaning from the original direction of the construct must be reverse coded (i.e., 1 becomes a 5, 2 becomes a 4, and so forth) before summating. Using a complicated weighting scheme that takes into account the location and probability of purchase of each item, these prices are combined by analysts, which are then combined into an overall index score using a series of formulas and rules. That is what constitutes a nominal level of measurement. In Deductive research, it helps researchers to specify the theory and come out with a specific variable that can place in a hypothesis. Testing theories (i.e., theoretical propositions) requires measuring these constructs accurately, correctly, and in a scientific manner before the strength of their relationships can be tested. For instance, one can create a political typology of newspapers based on their orientation toward domestic and foreign policy, as expressed in their editorial columns, as shown in Figure 6.2. Designed by Guttman (1950), the cumulative scaling method is based on Emory Bogardus’ social distance technique, which assumes that people’s willingness to participate in social relations with other people vary in degrees of intensity, and measures that intensity using a list of items arranged from “least intense” to “most intense”. If someone says bad things about other racial groups, is that racial prejudice? Quantitative analysis: Descriptive statistics, 15. Because items appear equally throughout the entire 11-pointrange of the scale, this technique is called an equal-appearing scale. If someone says bad things about other racial groups, is that racial prejudice? For example, a firm of size 10 employees is double that of a firm of size 5, and the same can be said for a firm of 10,000 employees relative to a different firm of 5,000 employees. This is particularly the case with many social science constructs such as self-esteem, which are assumed to have a single dimension going from low to high. Each of the underlying dimensions in this case must be measured separately—for example, using different tests for mathematical and verbal ability—and the two scores can be combined, possibly in a weighted manner, to create an overall value for the academic aptitude construct. For example, a typical binary scale for the ‘political activism’ construct may consist of the six binary items shown in Table 6.2. With a lot of statements, this approach can be enormously time consuming and unwieldy compared to the method of equal-appearing intervals. Multi-dimensional scales, on the other hand, employ different items or tests to measure each dimension of the construct separately, and then combine the scores on each dimension to create an overall measure of the multidimensional construct. Unidimensional scaling methods were developed during the first half of the twentieth century and were named after their creators. Written to be accessible to ge Each item in the above Guttman scale has a weight (not indicated above) which varies with the intensity of that item, and the weighted combination of each response is used as aggregate measure of an observation. Table 6.3. As in the Likert scale, the overall scale score may be a summation of individual item scores. Multidimensional constructs are measured as a formative combination of the multiple dimensions, even though each of the underlying dimensions may be measured using one or more reflective indicators. Designed by Rensis Likert, this is a very popular rating scale for measuring ordinal data in social science research. Each of the underlying dimensions in this case must be measured separately, say, using different tests for mathematical and verbal ability, and the two scores can be combined, possibly in a weighted manner, to create an overall value for the academic aptitude construct. If women earn less than men for the same job, is that gender prejudice? A classic example in the natural sciences is Moh’s scale of mineral hardness, which characterises the hardness of various minerals by their ability to scratch other minerals. Given the high level of subjectivity and imprecision inherent in social science constructs, we tend to measure most of those constructs (except a few demographic constructs such as age, gender, education, and income) using multiple indicators. If women earn less than men for the same job, is that gender prejudice? Each of these methods are discussed here. Biophysical Measurement in Experimental Social Science Research. Ratio scales are those that have all the qualities of nominal, ordinal, and interval scales, and in addition, also have a “true zero” point (where the value zero implies lack or non-availability of the underlying construct). The scale is named for the psychologist who created it, Rensis Likert. In closing, scale (or index) construction in social science research is a complex process involving several key decisions. Binary scales. However, researchers sometimes wish to summarize measures of two or more constructs to create a set of categories or types called a typology . Understand that “scales”, as discussed in this section, are a little different from “rating scales” discussed in the previous section. In closing, scale (or index) construction in social science research is a complex process involving several key decisions. Reviewing the literature, using theories, and/or interviewing experts or key stakeholders may help resolve this issue. Based on this definition, potential scale items are generated to measure this construct. Gender and race are also measured at the nominal level. Likert method assumes equal weights for all items, and hence, respondent’s responses to each item can be summed to create a composite score for that respondent. For instance, the construct ‘attitude toward national health insurance’ can be measured using four items shown in Table 6.4. Should you use an odd or even number of attributes (i.e., do you wish to have neutral or mid-point value)? This can be done by grouping items with a common median, and then selecting the item with the smallest inter-quartile range within each median group. Researchers should be able to generalize results, so conclusions drawn from one particular study can be applied to similar situations. 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