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A scale is a tool or mechanism by which individuals are distinguished as to how they differ from one another on the variables of interest to our study.







A nominal scale is one that allows the

researcher to assign subjects to certain categories or groups. For example

GENDER Male Female CODE 1 2

The categories in a nominal scale are:

Mutually exclusive Collectively exhaustive

Example Let us take the nationality of individuals. We

could nominally scale this variable in the following mutually exclusive and collectively exhaustive categories. American Japanese Australian Polish Chinese Russian German Swiss Indian Zambian Other

An ordinal scale classifies data into categories that can be ordered

or ranked, but precise differences between the ranks do not exist. An ordinal scale of measurement represents an ordered series of relationships or rank order. Example:
Individuals competing in a contest may achieve first, second, or

third place. They represents ordinal data.

If A takes first and B takes second, we do not know if the

competition was close; we only know that A outperformed B.

Ordinal scale not only differentiates the

categories but also distinguishes them by ranking.

Magnitude of difference is unknown.



The interval scale ranks data, and also measure the magnitude of differences in preferences. It lets us measure the distance between any two

points on the scale.

Example: A student who scores 90% is probably a better student than someone who scores 70%. The difference between the two scores is 20%. In an interval scale, the data can be ranked and for which

the difference between the two values can be calculated and interpreted.

It allows the researcher to: overcome the short comings in nominal and ordinal scale.
perform some arithmetic operations on the data collected from respondents.

Example Indicate the extent to which you agree with the following statements as they relate to your job, by circling the appropriate number against each, using the scale given below.

A thermometer is a good example of interval scale. The interval scale, taps the differences, the order, and the equality of the magnitude of the differences in the variable.

It is the most powerful of the four scales because it

has a unique zero origin (not an arbitrary origin) and subsumes all the properties of the other three scales. Example: A person weighing 250 pounds is twice as heavy as one who weighs 125 pounds. Note that multiplying or dividing both of these numbers (250 and 125) by any given number will preserve the ratio of 2:1. More instances include age, income, and the number of organizations individuals have worked for.

Ratio scale has an absolute zero point, which is a

meaningful measurement point. It has all the properties of the other three scales. Example: weighing balance A person weighing 250 pounds is twice as heavy as one who weighs 125 pounds. Multiplication and division preserves the ratio. In the above example the ratio would remain 2:1.

Some other examples: Actual age. Number of organizations individuals have

worked for . Income.


USES OF NOMINAL SCALE It is always used to obtain personal data such as

gender or the department in which one works. USES OF ORDINAL SCALE It is used for ranking brands, objects, events. USES OF INTERVAL SCALE It is use when items to be measured are tapped on a five or seven point scale, which are then summarized. USES OF RATIO SCALE It is used when exact numbers on objective factors are called for.

The following rating scales are often used in organizational research:
Dichotomous scale
Category scale Likert scale Numerical scales

Semantic differential scale

Itemized rating scale Fixed or constant sum rating scale Stapel scale Graphic rating scale Consensus scale

The dichotomous scale is used to elicit a Yes



or No answer, as in the example below Note that a nominal scale is used to elicit the response. Do you own a car? Yes No

The category scale uses multiple items to elicit

a single response Example Where in northern California do you reside?

__ North Bay __ South Bay __ East Bay __ Peninsula __ Other

Several bipolar attributes are identied at the extremes of the


scale, and respondents are asked to indicate their attitudes om semantic spaces. It is used to asses respondents attitudes towards particular object , event ,brand etc

Example Responsive Unresponsive Beautiful Ugly Courageous Timid

Numbers on a five-point or seven-point scale

are provided, with bipolar adjectives at both the ends. EXAMPLE: How please are you with the new government of Pakistan? Extremely pleased 7654321 Extremely displeased


A five point or seven point scale with anchor

for each item and the respondents states the appropriate at the side or against each item. Set of different response categories. Multiple category question. More meaningful. Easy to respond. More flexible.

TYPES: Balanced Unbalanced.

LIKERT SCALE Resis Likert. The Likert scale is designed to examine

how strongly subjects agree or disagree with statements on a 5-point scale with the following anchors:

The responses are in the form of sentences. Shows feelings of respondents. Useful in getting overall measurement of a particular topic, opinion or experience. Example:

FIXED OR CONSTANT SUM SCALE The respondents are here asked to distribute a

given number of points across various items as per the example below. EXAMPLE:

STAPEL SCALE: Measures both the direction and intensity of

the attitude towards items under study. Characteristic of interest. Scale ranges from +3 to -3. No absolute zero point. Example:


In this scale respondents indicate their

answers by placing a mark at the appropriate point in the line. Ordinal scale. But sometimes may look like an interval scale. Easy to respond. Eg; face scale



Scales developed through consensus.

A panel of judges select certain items , which

measures the relevant concept. Cards , gestures

RANKING SCALES Ranking scales are used to tap preferences

between two or among more objects or items.

The paired comparison scale is used when,

among a small number of objects, respondents are asked to choose between two objects at a time.

FORCED CHOICE The forced choice enables respondents to

rank objects relative to one another, among the alternatives provided. Example Rank the following magazines that you would like to subscribe to in the order of preference, assigning 1 for the most preferred choice and 5 for the least preferred.

COMPARATIVE SCALE The comparative scale provides a benchmark or a point of reference to assess

attitudes toward the current object, event, or situation under study. Example In a volatile nancial environment, compared to stocks, how wise or useful is it to invest in Treasury bonds? Please circle the appropriate response. More Useful About the Same Less Useful 1 2 3

SUMMARY Rating scales are used to measure most behavioral concepts. Ranking scales are used to make comparisons or rank the variables.

Validity ensures the ability of a scale to measure the intended concept. Validity tests under three broad headings: content validity criterion-related validity construct validity.

content validity
It ensures that the measure includes an

adequate and representative set of items that tap the concept. It is a function of how well the dimensions and elements of a concept have been delineated.

Face validity is considered by some as a basic

and a very minimum index of content validity. Face validity indicates that the items that are intended to measure a concept, do on the face of it look like they measure the concept.

Concurrent validity is established when the

scale discriminates individuals who are known to be different Predictive validity indicates the ability of the measuring instrument to differentiate among individuals with reference to a future criterion.

Construct validity testifies to how well the

results obtained from the use of the measure fit the theories around which the test is designed. This is assessed through convergent and discriminant validity.

Convergent & Discriminant validity

Convergent validity is established when the

scores obtained with two different instruments measuring the same concept are highly correlated. Discriminant validity is established when, based on theory, two variables are predicted to be uncorrelated, and the scores obtained by measuring them are indeed empirically found to be so.

The reliability of a measure is an indication of

the stability and consistency with which the instrument measures the concept and helps to assess the goodness of a measure.

1. Stability The ability of a measure to remain the

same over time despite uncontrollable testing conditions. . Two tests are usually done. testretest reliability and parallelform reliability.


The reliability co-efficient obtained with a

repetition of the same measure on a second occasion is called testretest reliability.


When responses on two comparable sets of measures tapping the same construct are highly correlated, we have parallel-form


The only changes being the wordings and the

order or sequence of the questions.

2.Internal Consistency of Measures

The internal consistency of measures is indicative of the homogeneity of the items in the measure that tap the construct. In other words, the items should hang together as a set, and be capable of

independently measuring the same concept so that the respondents attach the same overall meaning to each of the items. Consistency can be examined through the interitem consistency reliability and split-half reliability tests.

INTERITEM CONSISTENCY RELIABILITY This is a test of the consistency of respondents answers to all the items in a measure. To the degree that items are independent measures of the same concept, they will be correlated with one another. The more correlation is there the more consistency is there.
SPLIT-HALF RELIABILITY Split-half reliability reects the correlations

between two halves of an instrument. The estimates would vary depending on how the items in the measure are split into two halves.