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Measurement & Scaling

Measurement is the process of assigning numbers or labels to objects, persons, states, or events in accordance with specific rules to represent quantities or qualities of attributes. We do not measure specific objects, persons, etc., we measure attributes or features that define them. Ex., What defines the person Brent Wren? What is a student’s level of education? How customer oriented is our company? Overriding Goal: To provide a valid and reliable description or enumeration of the person, objects, issue, etc.

g. surroundings) ◦ Variations in method of administering survey.. ◦ Short-term personal factors (e. ◦ Sampling of items included in the questionnaire. .. Why do scores on a measurement scale differ? ◦ A true difference in the characteristic being measured.g. moods. ◦ Lack of clarity in the measurement instrument. time constraints) ◦ Situational factors (e. ◦ Mechanical or instrument factors causing completion errors.

Layout and design questionnaire Pretest and refine . 6.1. Define concepts to be measured Define attributes of the concepts Select scale of measurement (data type) Generate Items/Questions ◦ ◦ Wording Response format 5. 3. 2. 4.

attributes. or processes ◦ Concrete – demographics. person. purchase quantity ◦ Abstract – loyalty. Concept or Construct  Attribute ◦ A generalized idea about a class of objects. leadership ◦ A single characteristic or fundamental feature of an object. occurrences. or issue ◦ Often measure multiple attributes . satisfaction. traffic patterns. situation. personality.

Nominal Scales Ordinal Scales Interval Scales Ratio Scales .

Please indicate your current martial status. __Married __ Single __ Single. never married __ Widowed .Nominal scales focus on only requiring a respondent to provide some type of descriptor as the raw response Example.

Ordinal scales allow the respondent to express “relative magnitude” between the raw responses to a question Example. Which one statement best describes your opinion of an Intel PC processor? __ Higher than AMD’s PC processor __ About the same as AMD’s PC processor __ Lower than AMD’s PC processor .

How likely are you to recommend the Santa Fe Grill to a friend? Definitely will not 1 2 3 4 Definitely will 5 6 7 .Interval scales demonstrate the absolute differences between each scale point Example.

Please circle the number of children under 18 years of age currently living in your household. please specify ___.) .Ratio scales allow for the identification of absolute differences between each scale point. 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 (if more than 7. and absolute comparisons between raw responses Example 1.

     Understanding of the questions Discriminatory power of scale descriptors Balanced versus unbalanced scales Forced or nonforced choice scales Desired measure of central tendency and dispersion .

 Central Tendency ◦ Mode ◦ Median ◦ Mean  Dispersion ◦ Frequency distribution ◦ Range ◦ Standard deviations .

   If a nominal scale is used. analysis of raw data can be done using medians and ranges (plus modes and frequency distributions) If interval or ratio scales are used. analysis of raw data can only be done using modes and frequency distributions If ordinal scales are used. analysis of raw data can be done through the use of sample means and estimated standard deviations as the sample statistic (plus the above) .

Composite or Index Measures ◦ A measurement scale containing multiple questions addressing same construct or attribute . Likely will have a mix of question types and scales of measurement Multi-item.    Items are basically questions Need to ensure that enough questions are asked to generate information necessary to address research problems.

      Likert Scale Likert-Type Scale Semantic Differential Scale Behavioral Intention Scale Noncomparative Scales Comparative Scales .

A likert scale is an ordinal scale format that asks respondents to indicate the extent to which they agree or disagree with a series of mental or behavioral belief statements about a given object .


A semantic differential scale is unique bipolar ordinal scale format that captures a person’s attitudes and/or feelings about a given object .


A behavioral intention scale is a special type of rating scale designed to capture the likelihood that people will demonstrate some type of predictable behavior intent toward purchasing an object or service in a future time frame .


person. or concept against another on the scale . person. Noncomparative Rating Scales ◦ format that requires a judgment without reference to another object. or concept  Comparative Rating Scales ◦ format that requires a judgment comparing one object.



construct definitions. and associated attributes ◦ How should questions be phrased? ◦ In what sequence should questions be arranged? ◦ What layout will best serve the research objectives? . Major Issues ◦ What should be included?  Comes from objectives.

professionals)   How to handle “no opinion” or “not applicable” respondents? Do you need odd or even number of choices? . Multi-choice ◦ A place for every respondent but only one place (Exhaustive and Mutually Exclusive) ◦ Range of choices needs to be consistent with the sample (ex.  Open-ended vs. Closed-ended Simple dichotomous vs. income categories for students vs.

How would you rate our company’s service. and prices?  Avoid questions that are too difficult to answer . selection of products.    Use simple language that is consistent with your population Be as specific as possible Avoid leading and loaded questions Avoid double-barreled questions ◦ Ex.

 Always begin with simple. Pay attention to whether certain questions are relevant for every respondent or only some Give clear instructions for completing questionnaire Use appropriate fonts and white space to avoid crowding ◦ Use branching or filter questions appropriately ◦ Funneling technique    . non-offensive questions and get more complex as you move along. student survey.ques.uah.doc  Graduating Students Survey Panoply ◦ http://cas.doc ◦ http://cas.doc ◦ http://cas.   The following links will provide you copies of questionnaires that have been developed and used in this class ◦ http://cas. Madison Resident Survey University Fitness Center ◦ http://cas.doc   Huntsville Land Trust .