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BUSINESS RESEARCH METHODS

UNIT 2-Data base: Discussion on primary data and secondary data, tools and techniques of
collecting data. Methods of collecting data. Sampling design and sampling procedures. Random vs.
Nonrandom sampling techniques, determination of sample size and an appropriate sampling design.
Designing of questionnaire – measurement and scaling – nominal scale – ordinal scale –interval
scale – ratio scale – Guttmann scale – Likert scale – schematic differential scale.

1. Data base: Discussion on primary data and secondary data, tools and techniques of collecting
data. Methods of collecting data.
Various methods of collecting data are employed by social scientists. Here we will discuss the
varied dimensions relevant to : data generation and attempt to arrive at an abstract typology
involving stimuli, responses and setting for data collection. The task of data collection begins after
a research problem has been defined and research design /plan chalked out.
TYPES OF DATA
1) PRIMARY DATA : Are those which are collected a fresh and for the first time and thus happen
to be original in character and known as Primary data.
2) SECONDARY DATA : Are those which have been collected by someone else and which have
already been passed through the statistical process are known as Secondary data.
COLLECTION OF PRIMARY DATA: There are several methods of collecting primary data,
particularly in surveys and descriptive researches. In descriptive research, we obtain primary data
either through observation or through direct communication with respondents in one form or
another or through personal interviews.
Methods of data Collection: Primary Data •
OBSERVATION METHOD: Observation method is a method under which data from the field is
collected with the help of observation by the observer or by personally going to the field. • In the
words of P.V. Young, “Observation may be defined as systematic viewing, coupled with
consideration of seen phenomenon.”
ADVANTAGES:
•Subjective bias eliminated (No bias info)
• Information researcher gets is Current information
•Independent to respondent’s variable (as in interview and may be bias )
DISADVANTAGES:
• It is expensive method (time requires more)
• Limited information
• Unforeseen factors may interfere with observational task
• Respondents opinion cannot be recorded on certain subject
TYPES OF OBSERVATION: Structured and Unstructured Observation
• When observation is done by characterizing style of recording the observed information,
standardized conditions of observation, definition of the units to be observed, selection of pertinent
data of observation then it is structured observation
• When observation is done without any thought before observation then it is unstructured
observation
Participant & Non Participant Observation
• When the Observer is member of the group which he is observing then it is Participant
Observation
• In participant observation Researcher can record natural behavior of group, Researcher can verify
the truth of statements given by informants in the context of questionnaire, and Difficult to collect
information can obtain through this method but in this researcher may lose objectivity of research
due emotional feelings. Prob. of control in observation isn’t solved.
Non Participant Observation
• When observer is observing people without giving any information to them then it is non
participant observation
Controlled & Uncontrolled Observation
• When the observation takes place in natural condition i.e. uncontrolled observation. It is done to
get spontaneous picture of life and persons
• When observation takes place according to definite pre arranged plans, with experimental
procedure then it is controlled observation generally done in laboratory under controlled condition.
2 INTERVIEW METHOD
• This method of collecting data involves presentation or oral-verbal stimuli and reply in terms of
oral-verbal responses.
• Interview Method is Oral Verbal communication. Where interviewer asks questions( which are
aimed to get information required for study ) to respondent There are different type of interviews as
follows :
PERSONAL INTERVIEWS: The interviewer asks questions generally in a face to face contact to
the other person or persons.
Types of Personal Interview Personal Interview Structured Interview
• Flexibility in asking questions
• Predetermined questions
• Standardized techniques of
• No Predetermined questions recording
• Interviewer follows rigid
• No Standardized techniques of procedure laid down i.e. asking recording questions in form &
order prescribed • Interviewer has freedom to ask,
• Time required for such interview omit, add questions in any is less than non structured manner
interview
• Ask questions without following sequence
• Not necessary of skill or specific knowledge
• Deep knowledge & skill
• Analysis of data becomes easier required because information is collected in
• Analysis of data is difficult prescribed manner
Merits of Personal Interview
• Information at greater depth
• Flexibility of restructuring the Questionnaire
• Interviewer by his skill can come over resistance
• Non Response generally low
• Samples can controlled more effectively
• Personal information can be obtained
• Interviewer can collect supplementary information about respondent’s personal characteristics
and environment which has value in interpreting results
A supervisor has to do complex work of selecting, training and supervising the field staff.
Systematic errors may be occurred Takes more time when samples are more
De Merits Of Interview
Some Executive people are not approachable so data collected may be inadequate
Respondent may give bias information Expensive method
TELEPHONIC INTERVIEWS
• Contacting samples on telephone
• Uncommon method may be used in developed regions
MERITS
• Flexible compare to mailing method
• Faster than other methods
• Cheaper than personal interview method
• Callbacks are simple and economical also
• High response than mailing method.
• When it is not possible to contact the respondent directly, then interview is conducted through –
Telephone.
• Replies can be recorded without embarrassment to respondents
• Interviewer can explain requirements more easily
• No field staff is required
• Wider distribution of sample is possible
DEMERITS
• Little time is given to respondents
• Survey is restricted to respondents who have telephones
• Not suitable for intensive survey where comprehensive answers are required
• Bias information may be more
• Very difficult to make questionnaire because it should short and to the point
Structured interviews: in this case, a set of pre- decided questions are there.
Unstructured interviews: in this case, we don’t follow a system of pre-determined questions.
Focused interviews: attention is focused on the given experience of the respondent and its possible
effects.
Clinical interviews: concerned with broad underlying feelings or motivations or with the course of
individual’s life experience, rather than with the effects of the specific experience, as in the case of
focused interview.
Group interviews : a group of 6 to 8 individuals is interviewed.
Qualitative and quantitative interviews : divided on the basis of subject matter i.e. whether
qualitative or quantitative.
Individual interviews: interviewer meets a single person and interviews him.
Selection interviews: done for the selection of people for certain jobs.
Depth interviews: it deliberately aims to elicit unconscious as well as other types of material
relating especially to personality dynamics and motivations.
QUESTIONNAIRE METHOD: This method of data collection is quite popular, particularly in
case of big enquiries. The questionnaire is mailed to respondents who are expected to read and
understand the questions and write down the reply in the space meant for the purpose in the
questionnaire itself. The respondents have to answer the questions on their own.
• Questionnaire Method Questionnaire is sent to persons with request to answer the questions and
return the questionnaire Questions are printed in definite order , mailed to samples who are
expected to read that questions understand the questions and write the answers in provided space .
Merits of Questionnaire
• Merits of Questionnaire Low cost even the geographical area is large to cover Answers are in
respondents word so free from bias Adequate time to think for answers Non approachable
respondents may be conveniently contacted Large samples can be used so results are more reliable
Demerits of Questionnaire
Demerits of Questionnaire Low rate of return of duly filled questionnaire Can be used when
respondent is educated and co operative It is inflexible Omission of some questions Difficult to
know the expected respondent have filled the form or it is filled by someone else Slowest method
of data collection
SCHEDULE METHOD
• It is one of the important methods for the study of social problems.
• Schedules Like Questionnaires but it filled by enumerator . Enumerators are specially appointed
for filling questionnaire Enumerators explain the aim and objective to respondent and fill the
answers in provided space .
• In the words of Thomas Carson Macormic, “The schedule is nothing more than a list of questions
which it seems necessary to test the hypothesis .”
Other Methods Of Data Collection
• Warranty Cards Post card size cards sent to customers and feedback collected through asking
questions on that card
• Distributor or Store Audits are done by distributor or manufacturer’s salesperson. Observation
or copying information about inventory in retail shops. Useful method for knowing market share,
market size, effect of in store promotion.
Pantry Audits From the observation of pantry of customer to know purchase habit of the people
(which product, or what brand etc.) Questions may be asked at the time of audit
Consumer Panels When pantry audit is done at regular basis, Daily record of consumption of
certain customers Or repeatedly interviewed at the specific periods to know their consumption.
Transitory consumer panels – for limited time Continuing Consumer panel for indefinite period
Use of Mechanical Device Eye Cameras to record eyes focus on certain sketch• Psycho
galvanometer to measure body excitement to visual stimulus• Motion Picture camera to record
movement of body at the time of purchase• Audiometer concerned to TV . Useful to know
Channel, program preference of people
Depth Interview To discover the underlying motives or desires of samples . To explore needs ,
feelings of respondents. Skill is required , indirect question or projective techniques are used to
know behavior of the respondent.
Content Analysis analyzing contents of documentary material as news paper , books , magazines
about certain characteristics to identify and count
CASE STUDY METHOD: It is essentially an intensive investigation of the particular unit under
consideration. Its important characteristics are as follows:
a) the researcher can take one single social unit or more of such units for his study purpose.
b) the selected unit is studied intensively i.e. it is studied in minute details.
SURVEY METHOD
• One of the common methods of diagnosing and solving of social problems is that of undertaking
surveys.
• Festinger and Kat of the opinion that, “Many research problems require systematic collection of
data from population through the use of personal interviews or other data gathering devices”.
PANEL METHOD In this method, data is collected from the same sample respondents at the
some interval either by mail or by personal interview. This is used for studies on:
1) Expenditure Pattern
2) Consumer Behaviour
3) Effectiveness of Advertising
4) Voting Behaviour and so on
Secondary Data Sources of data
These are already available i.e. they refer to the data which have already been collected and analyzed
by someone else. Secondary data may either be published or unpublished data. Researcher must be
very careful in using secondary data, because the data available may be sometimes unsuitable.
1. Government statistics are widely available and easily accessed online, and can provide insights
related to product shipments, trade activity, business formation, patents, pricing and economic
trends, among other topics. However, data is often not presented explicitly for the subject you are
interested in, so it can take some manipulation and cross-checking of the data to get it as narrowly
focused as you’d like.
2. Industry associations typically have websites full of useful information — an overview of the
industry and its history, a list of participating companies, press releases about product and company
news, technical resources, and reports about industry trends. Some information may be accessible to
members only (such as member directories or market research), but industry associations are a great
place to look when starting to learn about a new industry or when looking for information an
industry insider would have.
3. Trade publications, such as periodicals and news articles, most of which make their content
available online, are an excellent source of in-depth product, industry and competitor data related to
specific industries. Oftentimes, news articles include insights obtained directly from executives at
leading companies about new technologies, industry trends and future plans.
4. Company websites can be virtual goldmines of information. Public companies will have investor
relations sections full of annual reports, regulatory findings and investor presentations that can
provide insights into both the individual company’s performance and that of the industry at large.
Public and private companies’ websites will typically provide detail around product offerings,
industries served, geographic presence, organizational structure, sales methods (distribution or
direct), customer relationships and innovations.
5. Published market research reports are another possible resource, as anyone who’s ever googled
the name of the industry they’re interested in and “market research” can tell you. For a fee, they can
provide a great overview of an industry, including quantitative data you might not find elsewhere
related to market size, growth rates and industry participant market share. The downside is that you
might not be interested in an overview — you might be interested in a niche, and that niche is only
discussed on three of the report’s 300 pages.
6. With all these sources of secondary data, you should be all set, right? Well, maybe not. If you are
interested in a niche product or a new technology, there may not be a lot out there in the public
sphere. The most current information you can find might be a few years old. You might not be sure
if the material you found online reflects an accurate portrayal of the whole industry. You might be
asking a question no one’s ever asked before, let alone answered. Now what?
7. Technical and trade journals• Books, Magazines, Newspaper• Reports & publications of industry
,bank, stock exchange• Reports by research scholars, Universities, economist• Public Records
Factors to be considered before using secondary data • Reliability of data – Who, when , which
methods, at what time etc.
• Suitability of data – Object, scope, and nature of original inquiry should be studied, as if the study
was with different objective then that data is not suitable for current study
• Adequacy of data– Level of accuracy,
• Area differences then data is not adequate for study
Selection of proper Method for collection of Data
• Nature, Scope and object of inquiry
• Availability of Funds
• Time Factor
• Precision Required
2. Sampling design and sampling procedures. Random vs. Nonrandom sampling techniques,
Determination of sample size and an appropriate sampling design.
A sample design is a definite plan for obtaining a sample from a given population. It refers to the
technique or the procedure the researcher would adopt in selecting items for the sample. Sample
design may as well lay down the number of items to be included in the sample i.e., the size of the
sample. Sample design is determined before data are collected. There are many sample designs from
which a researcher can choose. Some designs are relatively more precise and easier to apply than
others. Researcher must select/prepare a sample design which should be reliable and appropriate for
his research study.
STEPS IN SAMPLE DESIGN
While developing a sampling design, the researcher must pay attention to the following points:
(i) Type of universe: The first step in developing any sample design is to clearly define the set of
objects, technically called the Universe, to be studied. The universe can be finite or infinite. In finite
universe the number of items is certain, but in case of an infinite universe the number of items is
infinite, i.e., we cannot have any idea about the total number of items. The population of a city, the
number of workers in a factory and the like are examples of finite universes, whereas the number of
stars in the sky, listeners of a specific radio programme, throwing of a dice etc. are examples of
infinite universes.
(ii) Sampling unit: A decision has to be taken concerning a sampling unit before selecting sample.
Sampling unit may be a geographical one such as state, district, village, etc., or a construction unit
such as house, flat, etc., or it may be a social unit such as family, club, school, etc., or it may be an
individual. The researcher will have to decide one or more of such units that he has to select for his
study.
(iii) Source list: It is also known as ‘sampling frame’ from which sample is to be drawn. It contains
the names of all items of a universe (in case of finite universe only). If source list is not available,
researcher has to prepare it. Such a list should be comprehensive, correct, reliable and appropriate. It
is extremely important for the source list to be as representative of the population as possible.
(iv) Size of sample: This refers to the number of items to be selected from the universe to constitute
a sample. This major problem before a researcher. The size of sample should neither be excessively
large, nor too small. It should be optimum. An optimum sample is one which fulfills the
requirements of efficiency, representativeness, reliability and flexibility. While deciding the size of
sample; researcher must determine the desired precision as also an acceptable confidence level for
the estimate. The size of population variance needs to be considered as in case of larger variance
usually a bigger sample is needed. The size of population must be kept in view for this also limits the
sample size. The parameters of interest in a research study must be kept in view, while deciding the
size of the sample. Costs too dictate the size of sample that we can draw. As such, budgetary
constraint must invariably be taken into consideration when we decide the sample size.
(v) Parameters of interest: In determining the sample design, one must consider the question of the
specific population parameters which are of interest. For instance, we may be interested in
estimating the proportion of persons with some characteristic in the population, or we may be
interested in knowing some average or the other measure concerning the population. There may also
be important sub-groups in the population about whom we would like to make estimates. All this has
a strong impact upon the sample design we would accept.
(vi) Budgetary constraint: Cost considerations, from practical point of view, have a major impact
upon decisions relating to not only the size of the sample but also to the type of sample. This fact can
even lead to the use of a non-probability sample.
(vii) Sampling procedure: Finally, the researcher must decide the type of sample he will use i.e., he
must decide about the technique to be used in selecting the items for the sample. In fact, this
technique or procedure stands for the sample design itself. There are several sample designs
(explained in the pages that follow) out of which the researcher must choose one for his study.
Obviously, he must select that design which, for a given sample size and for a given cost, has a
smaller sampling error.
CHARACTERISTICS OF A GOOD SAMPLE DESIGN
In a field study due to time and cost involved, generally, only a section of the population is studied.
These respondents are known as the sample and are representative of the general population or
universe. A sample design is a definite plan for obtaining a sample from a population. It refers to the
technique or the procedure for obtaining a sample from a given population.
Following are the characteristics of good sample design:
1. Sample design should be a representative sample: A researcher selects a relatively small
number for a sample from an entire population. This sample needs to closely match all the
characteristics of the entire population. If the sample used in an experiment is a representative
sample then it will help generalize the results from a small group to large universe being studied.
2. Sample design should have small sampling error: Sampling error is the error caused by taking
a small sample instead of the whole population for study. Sampling error refers to the discrepancy
that may result from judging all on the basis of a small number. Sampling error is reduced by
selecting a large sample and by using efficient sample design and estimation strategies.
3. Sample design should be economically viable: Studies have a limited budget called the research
budget. The sampling should be done in such a way that it is within the research budget and not too
expensive to be replicated.
4. Sample design should have marginal systematic bias: Systematic bias results from errors in the
sampling procedures which cannot be reduced or eliminated by increasing the sample size. The best
bet for researchers is to detect the causes and correct them.
5. Results obtained from the sample should be generalized and applicable to the whole
universe: The sampling design should be created keeping in mind that samples that it covers the
whole universe of the study and is not limited to a part.
Definition of Probability Sampling
In statistics, probability sampling refers to the sampling method in which all the members of the
population has a pre-specified and an equal chance to be a part of the sample. This technique is
based on the randomization principle, wherein the procedure is so designed, which guarantees that
each and every individual of the population has an equal selection opportunity. This helps to reduce
the possibility of bias.
Statistical inferences can be made by the researchers using this technique, i.e. the result obtained can
be generalised from the surveyed sample to the target population. The methods of probability
sampling are provided below:
Types of Probability Sampling
• Simple random sampling is a completely random method of selecting subjects. These can
include assigning numbers to all subjects and then using a random number generator to choose
random numbers. Classic ball and urn experiments are another example of this process (assuming
the balls are sufficiently mixed). The members whose numbers are chosen are included in the
sample.
• Stratified Random Sampling involves splitting subjects into mutually exclusive groups and then
using simple random sampling to choose members from groups.
• Systematic Sampling means that you choose every “nth” participant from a complete list. For
example, you could choose every 10th person listed.
• Cluster Random Sampling is a way to randomly select participants from a list that is too large
for simple random sampling. For example, if you wanted to choose 1000 participants from the
entire population of the U.S., it is likely impossible to get a complete list of everyone. Instead, the
researcher randomly selects areas (i.e. cities or counties) and randomly selects from within those
boundaries.
• Multi-Stage Random sampling uses a combination of techniques.
Advantages and Disadvantages
Each probability sampling method has its own unique advantages and disadvantages.
Advantages
• Cluster sampling: convenience and ease of use.
• Simple random sampling: creates samples that are highly representative of the population.
• Stratified random sampling: creates strata or layers that are highly representative of strata or
layers in the population.
• Systematic sampling: creates samples that are highly representative of the population, without
the need for a random number generator.
Disadvantages
• Cluster sampling: might not work well if unit members are not homogeneous (i.e. if they are
different from each other).
• Simple random sampling: tedious and time consuming, especially when creating larger samples.
• Stratified random sampling: tedious and time consuming, especially when creating larger
samples.
• Systematic sampling: not as random as simple random sampling,
• Simple Random Sampling
• Stratified Sampling
• Cluster Sampling
• Systematic Sampling
• Multi stage sampling
Definition of Non-Probability Sampling
When in a sampling method, all the individuals of the universe are not given an equal opportunity of
becoming a part of the sample, the method is said to be Non-probability sampling. Under this
technique as such, there is no probability attached to the unit of the population and the selection
relies on the subjective judgment of the researcher. Therefore, the conclusions drawn by the sampler
cannot be inferred from the sample to the whole population. The methods of non-probability
sampling are listed below:
Convenience Sampling is probably the most common of all sampling techniques. With convenience
sampling, the samples are selected because they are accessible to the researcher. Subjects are chosen
simply because they are easy to recruit. This technique is considered easiest, cheapest and least time
consuming.
Quota Sampling is a non-probability sampling technique wherein the researcher ensures equal or
proportionate representation of subjects depending on which trait is considered as basis of the quota.
For example, if basis of the quota is college year level and the researcher needs equal representation,
with a sample size of 100, he must select 25 1st year students, another 25 2nd year students, 25 3rd
year and 25 4th year students. The bases of the quota are usually age, gender, education, race,
religion and socioeconomic status.
Judgment or Purposive Sampling is used when the research design calls for a sample of people
who exhibit particular attributes. Generally, these attributes are rare or unusual and are typically not
distributed normally (that is, according to the "normal curve") in the larger population. Purposive
sampling is fraught with bias, some of which occurs as a result of the methods used to identify the
members of a purposive sample.
Snowball Sampling is usually done when there is a very small population size. In this type of
sampling, the researcher asks the initial subject to identify another potential subject who also meets
the criteria of the research. The downside of using a snowball sample is that it is hardly
representative of the population.
Advantages of Non-Probability Sampling
1. Possibility to reflect the descriptive comments about the sample
2. Cost-effectiveness and time-effectiveness compared to probability sampling
3. Effective when it is unfeasible or impractical to conduct probability sampling
Disadvantages of Non-Probability Sampling
1. Unknown proportion of the entire population is not included in the sample group i.e. lack of
representation of the entire population
2. Lower level of generalization of research findings compared to probability sampling
3. Difficulties in estimating sampling variability and identifying possible bias
3. Designing of questionnaire
Main Aspects of Questionnaire
• Main Aspects of Questionnaire General Form Structured Questionnaire Alternatives or yes no type
questions are asked Easy to interpret the data but unuseful for the survey which is aimed to probe for
attitudes, and reasons for certain actions Unstructured Questionnaire open ended questions
• Respondents gives answers in his own words On the basis of the pre test researcher can decide
about which type of questionnaire should be used Question Sequence Question sequence should be
clear and smoothly moving (relation of one question to another should readily apparent First
question important for creating interest in respondents mind
• Question which gives stress on memory or of a personal character and wealth should be avoided as
opening questions Easier question should be at the start of the questionnaire General to specific
questions should be the sequence of questions Question Formulation and Wording Question should
easily understood Question should be simple and concrete.
• Closed questions are easy to handle but this is like fixing the answers in people’s mouth. So
depending upon problem for which survey is going on both close ended and open ended question
may be asked in Questionnaire. Words having ambiguous meaning should be avoided, catch words ,
words with emotional connotations , danger words should be avoided
Essentials of Good Questionnaire
• Essentials of Good Questionnaire Should Short & simple Questions should arranged in logical
sequence (From Easy to difficult one) Technical terms should avoided Some control questions which
indicate reliability of the respondent ( To Know consumption first expenditure and then weight or
qty of that material)
• Questions affecting the sentiments of the respondents should avoided Adequate space for answers
should be provided in questionnaire Provision for uncertainty (do not know, No preference)
Directions regarding the filling of questionnaire should be given Physical Appearance - - Quality of
paper, color
HOW TO CONSTRUCT A QUESTIONNAIRE Researcher should note the following with
regard to these three main aspects of a questionnaire:
• General form
• Question Sequence
Determine the type the Questions:
A) Direct Question
B) Indirect Question
C) Open Form Questionnaire
D) Closed Form Questionnaire
E) Dichotomous Questions
F) Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ)
4. Measurement and scaling – nominal scale – ordinal scale –interval scale – ratio scale –
Guttmann scale – Likert scale – schematic differential scale.
The word scale or scaling is generally used for indicating measurements or measuring something .
Many aspects of social phenomena like emotion, attitude, faiths etc. are not measurable directly.
They are not quantitative in nature. In social phenomena there are two types of variables quantitative
and qualitative. Measurement or scaling implies conversion of qualitative data into quantitative data
and then measuring them. Various kinds of statistical measurements are used for this purpose.
Scaling is an attempt to bring about greater accuracy which is desired in both physical and social
sciences.
Essentials of Scaling (Criteria for Good Scaling)
• Continuum means judging the scalability of the phenomenon under study.
• Reliability means that it should consistently produce the same result when applied to the same
design.
• Validity implies correct measurement. A scale is valid if it measures correctly what is expected to
measure.
• Weighting items means proper weights are to be provided to the attributes involved in the study
because they are not of equal importance.
• Equality of units is a desirable characteristic but not essential for sound scientific procedure. In
order to make the units equal, sometimes subtraction or addition can be made.
Measurement is a systematic way of assigning numbers or names to objects and their attributes. It is
easy to assign numbers in respect of properties of some objects, properties like weight, height.
Why Measurement? “When you can measure what you are talking about and express it in numbers,
you know something about it” Lord Kelvin
Rules of Measurement
• A rule is a guide which instructs us to do.
• Operational definitions help us to specify the rules for assigning the numbers.
Scales: Scales are devised for measuring variable in social science research. Scaling is the procedure
for determining the quantitative measure of abstract concepts like leadership style, brand image of
product etc. It is therefore -
• Any series of items which is progressively arranged according to value or magnitude into which an
item can be placed according to its quantification.
• A continuous spectrum or series of categories
• Used to represent, usually quantitatively, an item’s or person’s place in that spectrum
Scale Classification
(A) Level of Measurement
I. Nominal scales
II. Ordinal scales
III. Interval scales
IV. Ratio scale
• Nominal Scale: Numbers or letters assigned to objects which serve as labels for identification or
classification.
They are Scales “in name only”
• Ordinal Scale: Arranges objects or alternatives according to their magnitude in an ordered
relationship. Eg rating career opportunities as excellent, good, average poor or very poor.
Interval Scale: Interval scales not only indicate order, they also measure order or distance in units
of equal intervals. When an interval scale is used to measure psychological attribute, the researcher
can comment on the magnitude of differences or compare the average differences on attributes that
are measured, but cannot determine the actual strength of the attitude towards an object
• Ratio Scale: A ratio scale has equal interval properties of an interval scale but has two additional
features:
• Has a true zero. Possible to indicate the complete absence of a property.
• The numerals of the ratio scale have the qualities of real numbers and can be added, subtracted,
multiplied, Divided and expressed in ratio relationships.
Lickert Scale: Respondents indicate their attitude by checking how strongly they agree or disagree
with carefully constructed statements that range from the very positive to the very negative towards
the attitudinal object. Individuals generally choose from five alternatives:
Strongly disagree / Disagree / Neutral / Agree / Strongly Agree Example of Lickert scale.
Guttman or “cumulative” scale
In the social sciences, the Guttman or “cumulative” scale measures how much of a positive or
negative attitude a person has towards a particular topic. The Guttman scale is one of the three
major types of unidimensional measurement scales. The other two are the Likert Scale and
the Thurstone Scale. A unidimensional measurement scale has only one (“uni”) dimension. In other
words, it can be represented by a number range, like 0 to 100 lbs or “Depressed from a scale of 1 to
10”. By giving the test, a numerical value can be placed on a topic or factor.
The scale has YES/NO answers to a set of questions that increase in specificity. The idea is that a
person will get to a certain point and then stop. For example, on a 5-point quiz, if a person gets to
question 3 and then stops, it implies they do not agree with questions 4 and 5. If one person stops at
3, another at 1, and another at 5, the three people can be ranked along a continuum.Examples:The
scale is designed to measure one factor or subject. For example, the following shows a questionnaire
for a person’s attitudes towards depression:

Semantic Differential Scale:


The semantic differential scale measures the connotative meaning of things. For example, while the
word “heart” is defined as the organ that pumps blood around the body, it’s connotative meaning is
love or heartache. The scale is used in surveys to gauge people’s feelings towards a particular
subject.
Denotation vs. Connotation
Denotation is the exact meaning of a word. It’s what you would find if you looked in a dictionary.
A few examples of denotation:
• Sweater: a knitted garment worn to keep warm.
• Abyss: a deep or seemingly bottom chasm.
• Diamond: a precious, clear and colorless stone made from pure carbon.
• Lion: a large, fawn-colored cat that lives in prides.
Connotation is an idea or a feeling that the word invokes . The above words have many implied
meanings in pop culture and literature, including:
• Sweater: friendship, fireplaces and hot cocoa.
• Abyss: a really bad situation.
• Diamond: anyone who stands out and “shines.”
• Lion: bravery.
The Semantic Differential Scale
A semantic differential scale measures attitudes towards something. For example, you could measure
a person’s attitude to the word “Work” with the following scale:

The terms to the left and right are polar opposite adjectives. For example, “necessary” is the opposite
of “unnecessary.” There are usually five intervals, although some scales have seven. Instead of blank
spaces to mark, you could have radio buttons or boxes to check.
According to Ron Garland, three types of semantic differential scale exist:
1. Scale points are unlabeled.
2. Scale points are labeled.
3. Scale points are numbered (i.e. from 1 to 5).
Garland found that respondents preferred labeled scale points as they are easier to comprehend,
easier to complete, and are more useful for expressing opinion. Labeling the scales does not seem to
introduce bias.