ERIC Number: ED331851
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
The Hermeneutic of Additive Conjoint Measurement in Educational Research.
Fisher, William P., Jr.
Additive conjoint measurement models for educational research are construed as practical applications of the hermeneutic theory of scientific instrumentation. It is argued that the model of the text is no less paradigmatic for quantitative method in the natural and social sciences than it is for qualitative, ethnographic methods. It is also suggested that qualitative ethnographic research limits itself if it does not follow through on its critique of quantitative thinking by demonstrating the alternatives it offers. Two studies were conducted to test the hypothesis that metaphors provide virtual meanings that can be honed into actual measures. In one study, a relatively homogenous sample of 36 Americans rated the meaningfulness of 68 entailments of the metaphor "love is a rose." In the second study, a group of Nigerians rated the meaningfulness of a local saying. Both studies support the hypothesis that the virtual measures of meaning provided by language can be sharpened into actual quantitative measures. Implications for application of conjoint measurement models are discussed. It is concluded that the methodological and epistemological dilemma of social research is more complex than merely recognizing the barriers to scientific objectivity; it is more a matter of recognizing that the model of objectivity which researchers have attempted to replicate does not exist even in the sense of a heuristic device. Six tables present study data. An 81-item list of references is included. (SLD)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Additive Models; Conjoint Measurement
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Chicago, IL, April 3-7, 1991).