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Business Research Methods

Measurement and Scaling: Noncomparative Scaling Techniques


Noncomparative Scaling Techniques

Respondents evaluate only one object at a time, and for this reason noncomparative scales are often referred to as monadic scales. Noncomparative techniques consist of continuous and itemized rating scales.


Continuous Rating Scale

Respondents rate the objects by placing a mark at the appropriate position on a line that runs from one extreme of the criterion variable to the other. The form of the continuous scale may vary considerably.
How would you rate Sears as a department store? Version 1 Probably the worst - - - - - - -I - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Probably the best Version 2 Probably the worst - - - - - - -I - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -- - Probably the best 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 Version 3 Neither good Very good nor bad Probably the worst - - - - - - -I - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -Probably the best 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 Very bad




Itemized Rating Scales

The respondents are provided with a scale that has a number or brief description associated with each category. The categories are ordered in terms of scale position, and the respondents are required to select the specified category that best describes the object being rated. The commonly used itemized rating scales are the Likert, semantic differential, and Stapel scales.


Likert Scale
The Likert scale requires the respondents to indicate a degree of agreement or disagreement with each of a series of statements about the stimulus objects.
Strongly disagree Disagree Neither Agree agree nor disagree
3 4

Strongly agree

1. Sears sells high quality merchandise.


2. Sears has poor in-store service.

3. I like to shop at Sears.






The analysis can be conducted on an item-by-item basis (profile analysis), or a total (summated) score can be calculated. When arriving at a total score, the categories assigned to the negative statements by the respondents should be scored by reversing the scale.


Semantic Differential Scale

The semantic differential is a seven-point rating scale with end points associated with bipolar labels that have semantic meaning. SEARS IS: Powerful --:--:--:--:-X-:--:--: Weak Unreliable --:--:--:--:--:-X-:--: Reliable Modern --:--:--:--:--:--:-X-: Old-fashioned The negative adjective or phrase sometimes appears at the left side of the scale and sometimes at the right. This controls the tendency of some respondents, particularly those with very positive or very negative attitudes, to mark the right- or lefthand sides without reading the labels. Individual items on a semantic differential scale may be scored on either a -3 to +3 or a 1 to 7 scale.

A Semantic Differential Scale for Measuring Self- Concepts, Person Concepts, and Product Concepts
1) Rugged 2) Excitable :---:---:---:---:---:---:---: Delicate :---:---:---:---:---:---:---: Calm


3) Uncomfortable 4) Dominating 5) Thrifty 6) Pleasant 7) Contemporary 8) Organized 9) Rational 10) Youthful 11) Formal 12) Orthodox 13) Complex 14) Colorless 15) Modest

:---:---:---:---:---:---:---: Comfortable :---:---:---:---:---:---:---: Submissive :---:---:---:---:---:---:---: Indulgent :---:---:---:---:---:---:---: Unpleasant :---:---:---:---:---:---:---: Obsolete :---:---:---:---:---:---:---: Unorganized :---:---:---:---:---:---:---: Emotional :---:---:---:---:---:---:---: Mature :---:---:---:---:---:---:---: Informal :---:---:---:---:---:---:---: Liberal :---:---:---:---:---:---:---: Simple :---:---:---:---:---:---:---: Colorful :---:---:---:---:---:---:---: Vain


Stapel Scale
The Stapel scale is a unipolar rating scale with ten categories numbered from -5 to +5, without a neutral point (zero). This scale is usually presented vertically.
+5 +4 +3 +2 +1 HIGH QUALITY -1 -2 -3 -4X -5 +5 +4 +3 +2X +1 POOR SERVICE -1 -2 -3 -4 -5

The data obtained by using a Stapel scale can be analyzed in the same way as semantic differential data.


Basic Noncomparative Scales

Scale Continuous Rating Scale Itemized Rating Scales Likert Scale
Degrees of agreement on a 1 (strongly disagree) to 5 (strongly agree) scale Seven - point scale with bipolar labels Measurement of attitudes Easy to construct, administer, and understand

Basic Characteristics
Place a mark on a continuous line

Reaction to TV commercials

Easy to construct

Scoring can be cumbersome unless computerized

More time - consuming

Semantic Differential

Brand, product, and company images Measurement of attitudes and images


Controversy as to whether the data are interval Confusing and difficult to apply

Stapel Scale

Unipolar ten - point scale, - 5 to +5, witho ut a neutral point (zero)

Easy to construct, administer over telephone


1) Number of categories

Summary of Itemized Scale Decisions

Although there is no single, optimal number, traditional guidelines suggest that there should be between five and nine categories

2) Balanced vs. unbalanced

3) Odd/even no. of categories

In general, the scale should be balanced to obtain objective data

If a neutral or indifferent scale response is possible from at least some of the respondents, an odd number of categories should be used

4) Forced vs. non-forced

In situations where the respondents are expected to have no opinion, the accuracy of the data may be improved by a non-forced scale
An argument can be made for labeling all or many scale categories. The category descriptions should be located as close to the response categories as possible A number of options should be tried and the best selected

5) Verbal description

6) Physical form

Balanced and Unbalanced Scales Figure 9.1

Jovan Musk for Men is
Extremely good Very good Good Bad Very bad Extremely bad


Jovan Musk for Men is

Extremely good Very good Good Somewhat good Bad Very bad


Rating Scale Configurations

Cheer detergent is:
1) Very harsh 2) Very harsh --1 --2 --3 --4 --5 --6 --7

Figure 9.2

A variety of scale configurations may be employed to measure the gentleness of Cheer detergent. Some examples include:

Very gentle Very gentle

3) . Very harsh . Cheer . . Neither harsh nor gentle . . . Very gentle 4) ____ ____ ____ ____ Very Harsh Somewhat Neither harsh harsh Harsh nor gentle 5)

____ Somewhat gentle

____ Gentle

____ Very gentle

Very harsh



Neither harsh nor gentle



Very gentle


Thermometer Scale Instructions: Please indicate how much you like McDonalds hamburgers by coloring in
the thermometer. Start at the bottom and color up to the temperature level that best indicates how strong your preference is.

Some Unique Rating Scale GRAPHIC Figure 9.3


Like very much Dislike very much

100 75 50 25 0

Smiling Face Scale Instructions: Please point to the face that shows how much you like the Barbie Doll. If
you do not like the Barbie Doll at all, you would point to Face 1. If you liked it very much, you would point to Face 5.



Thurstone Scale
It is a two stage procedure In the first stage researcher selects 80 to 100 items indicating different degrees of favourable attitude for concept under study They are given to a group of judges to group them into favourable & disfavour able by keeping equal intervals between categories All items that have consensus from judges are selected & distributed uniformly on a scale of favourability This scale is then administered to respondents to measure their attitude towards a particular concept It is time consuming & costly & is rarely used in applied BR


In psychology, the Thurstone scale was the first formal technique for measuring an attitude. It was developed by Louis Leon Thurstone in 1928, as a means of measuring attitudes towards religion. It is made up of statements about a particular issue, and each statement has a numerical value indicating how favorable or unfavorable it is judged to be. People check each of the statements to which they agree, and a mean score is computed, indicating their attitude.


Measurement Accuracy
The true score model provides a framework for understanding the accuracy of measurement.

XO = XT + XS + XR
where XO = the observed score or measurement XT = the true score of the characteristic XS = systematic error XR = random error


Potential Sources of Error on Measurement

1) Other relatively stable characteristics of the individual that influence the test score, such as intelligence, social desirability, and education. 2) Short-term or transient personal factors, such as health, emotions, and fatigue. 3) Situational factors, such as the presence of other people, noise, and distractions.

4) Sampling of items included in the scale: addition, deletion, or changes in the scale items.
5) Lack of clarity of the scale, including the instructions or the items themselves. 6) Mechanical factors, such as poor printing, overcrowding items in the questionnaire, and poor design. 7) Administration of the scale, such as differences among interviewers. 8) Analysis factors, such as differences in scoring and statistical analysis.


Criteria for evaluating measurement The criteria for evaluating measurements are Reliability Validity Sensitivity Generalizability Relevance


The degree to which measures are free from random error and therefore yield consistent results across time or situations. Perfect reliability requires that there is no random error XR=0

The ability of a scale to measure what was intended to be measured. Perfect validity requires that there is no measurement error either systematic or random. XR=o XS=0



Relationship between validity & reliability If a measure is perfectly valid it is also perfectly reliable However if a measure is perfectly reliable it may or may not be perfectly valid If a measure is unreliable it will not be valid Reliability is a necessary but not a sufficient condition for validity




Reliability and Validity on Target

Old Rifle Low Reliability (Target A)

New Rifle High Reliability (Target B)

New Rifle Sunglare Reliable but Not Valid (Target C)









Of index measures

There are two dimensions of reliability:Repeatability & Internal consistency If the results of the research are the same even when it is conducted second or third time it confirms repeatability aspect Test-Retest Method: An approach for assessing reliability in which respondents are administered identical sets of scale items at two different times under as nearly equivalent conditions as possible This measures repeatability since the same scale or measure is administered to the same set of respondents at two separate points. If the measure is stable over time , it should obtain similar results.(40% satisfied with jobs both times) However it is difficult to locate all respondents for the second round, their attitudes may change over time or the first measure may sensitize the respondents

Types of Reliability


Equivalent Forms Method


An approach to assess reliability that requires two equivalent forms of scale to be constructed &administered to the same respondents at two different times However it is difficult , time consuming & expensive to construct two equivalent forms of scale

Internal Consistency This measure of reliability focuses on internal consistency of the set of items forming the scale. It is used to assess reliability of a summated scale where several items are summed to form a total score .Each item measures some aspect of the construct and the items should be consistent in what they indicate about the characteristics



Split half Method Split half Method: It is a method of measuring internal consistency reliability in which the items constituting the scale are divided into two halves and the resulting scores of two halves are correlated. High correlation indicates high consistency However results will depend on how the scale items are split Coefficient alpha :A measure of internal consistency reliability that is the average of all possible split half coefficients resulting from different splitting of the scale items


Some multi item scales include several sets of items measuring different dimensions of a multidimensional construct. Since these dimensions are independent a measure of internal consistency computed across dimensions would be inappropriate. so internal consistency reliability can be computed for each dimension Store image is a multidimensional construct that includes --- Quality of goods, --- variety of goods, ---returns policy, ---service , ----price, ----location, ----layout ----billing & credit policy


V lid a ity






Face Professional agreement that logically it appears valid. (Subjective)

Content-Depends on established theories for support (objective) Criterion Does it fit or correlate with other similar measure/constructs? Body Fat caliper, water displacement, electrical impedance, BMI. Concurrent two measure, same time Predictive Two measures at diff. times. Construct - confirmed with network of hypotheses. Convergent(High relationship with similar concepts). and divergent or discriminant validity (low relationship with dissimilar concepts).

Face Validity Face Validity: Subjective agreement among professionals that a scale logically appears to accurately measure what it is intended to measure. Weakest form without any analysis Face validity is concerned with how a measure or procedure appears. Does it seem like a reasonable way to gain the information the researchers are attempting to obtain? Does it seem well designed? Does it seem as though it will work reliably? Unlike content validity, face does not depend on established theories for support


Content Validity


Content Validity is based on the extent to which a measurement reflects the specific intended domain of content . Researchers aim to study mathematical learning and create a survey to test for mathematical skill. If these researchers only tested for multiplication and then drew conclusions from that survey, their study would not show content validity because it excludes other mathematical functions. To measure adequacies of facilities in schools: attractiveness of school name, frequency of old students meet. eatables in the canteen not relevant variables: Number of classrooms, Number of qualified teachers, playground, liabrary- relevant variables


Criterion related Validity

Criterion related validity, also referred to as instrumental validity, is used to demonstrate the accuracy of a measure or procedure by comparing it with another measure or procedure which has been demonstrated to be valid. For example, imagine a hands-on driving test has been shown to be an accurate test of driving skills. By comparing the scores on the written driving test with the scores from the hands-on driving test, the written test can be validated by using a criterion related strategy in which the hands-on driving test is compared to the written test. New measure correlates with criterion measure


Predictive Validity. A type of criterion validity whereby a new measure correlates with criterion measure administered at a later time In order for a test to be a valid screening device for some future behaviour, it must have predictive validity. The SAT is used by college screening committees as one way to predict college grades. The GMAT is used to predict success in business .It measures predictive validity . We determine predictive validity by computing a correlation coefficient comparing SAT(NEW) scores, for example, and college grades (Criterion). If they are directly related, then we can make a prediction regarding college grades based on SAT score. We can show that students who score high on the SAT tend to receive high grades in college.

Predictive Validity


Construct Validity Construct validity seeks agreement between a theoretical concept and a specific measuring device or procedure. For example, a researcher inventing a new IQ test might spend a great deal of time attempting to "define" intelligence in order to reach an acceptable level of construct validity. Construct validity can be broken down into two sub-categories: Convergent validity and discriminate validity. Convergent validity is the actual general agreement among ratings, where measures should be theoretically related. Discriminate validity is the lack of a relationship among measures which theoretically should not be related


To measure: Tendency to stay in low cost hotels Four personality variables: High level of self confidence, low need for status, low need for distinctiveness, high level of adaptability Not related to: brand loyalty, high level of aggressiveness The scale can be said to have construct if it correlates highly with other measures of tendency to stay in low cost hotels: Reported hotels patronised and social class (convergent) Low correlation with the unrelated constructs of brand loyalty & high level of aggressiveness (Divergent)


A measurement instruments ability to accurately measure variability in stimuli or responses.
Yes and no agree or disagree are not very sensitive Strongly agree, mildly agree, indifferent, mildly disagree, strongly disagree ,are categories whose inclusion increases scales sensitivity


It is the degree to which a study based on a sample applies to a universe of generalization Universe of generalization includes set of all conditions of measurement :items, interviewers, modes of data collection etc. To generalize a scale developed for personal interview to other modes of data collection such as mail, telephone etc. To generalize from a sample of items to universe of items


It represents appropriateness of using a particular scale for measuring a variable Relevance= Reliability x Validity If either reliability or validity is low then the scale will have little relevance If correlation coefficient is used to analyse both reliability & validity then the scale can have relevance from 0 to 1.