ERIC Number: ED174671
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Stevens' Scales of Measurement--A Critique and an Alternative.
Terwilliger, James S.
It is asserted that Steven's viewpoint on measurement--that scales are nominal, ordinal, interval, or ratio--has a limited usefulness for behavioral scientists and researchers, and that it is necessary to develop an alternative. Some limitations of Steven's theory are discussed: (1) its assumptions about the nature and purpose of measurement; (2) its limited utility as a guide for the design and interpretation of measurement procedures; and (3) the tendency of Steven's scale types to support fundamental misconceptions about the nature of science. An alternative viewpoint is recommended, and a revised definition of measurement is proposed, whereby the purpose is to index a quantity or amount of an attribute such as interest or aptitude. Rather than using Stevens' four scales of measurement, three ways to index phenomena are suggested: classificaiton systems; ranking techniques; and measurement procedures. (MH)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Stevens (S S)
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (63rd, San Francisco, California, April 8-12, 1979)