By Joel Michell
This booklet declines to take with no consideration the common assumption that present psychometric approaches offer clinical dimension. The at the moment stylish innovations of dimension inside of psychology -- operationalism and representationalism -- are seriously tested, and the classical view, that size is the review of volume, is defended. inside this framework, it truly is proven how conjoint size can be utilized to check the speculation that variables are quantitative. This topic is built intimately utilizing primary mental examples, reminiscent of Thurstone's legislation of comparative judgment, multidimensional scaling, and Coombs' concept of unfolding.
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Extra resources for An Introduction To the Logic of Psychological Measurement
A wider range of methods is needed in order to test whether or not any given variable is quantitative. Then those methods that can be applied to psychological variables may be used to settle the matter. Section 2 And Philosophy what has philosophy got to do with measuring anything? —Galileo This page intentionally left blank Chapter The Theoiy of Measurement in Psychology Before considering in some depth the question of what quantity and measurement really are, I want to consider two conceptions of measurement now widely accepted within psychology: operationalism and representationalism.
Thus, there was within the psychology of the 1950s an almost immediate consensus about the meaning of measurement. Stevens’ definition produced a collective sigh of relief. Since then, more than a generation of psychology students have been trained in the belief that this definition states what measurement really is. The misconception is now firmly entrenched. As a consequence, it is now accepted within psychology that mental tests measure abilities, that multidimen sional scaling measures perceptual attributes, that magnitude estimation measures the intensity of sensations, and that summated rating scales measure attitudes and personality traits.
Rozeboom’s criticism is based on a true observation but it fails to take account of the instrumentalist character of the definition of the concept of a measurement scale used within the representational theory of measurement. Any homomorphic assignment of numbers to empirical objects will always represent a large class of, perhaps only extensionally definable, empirical relations. Within this large class the scientist focuses on the small set of empirical relations of interest to him. It is how these relations and these alone are numerically represented that characterizes a scale according to the representational theory of measurement.