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ERIC Number: EJ920203
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 29
ISSN: ISSN-1536-6367
Psychological Measurement Needs Units, Ratios, and Real Quantities: A Commentary on Humphry
Kyngdon, Andrew
Measurement: Interdisciplinary Research and Perspectives, v9 n1 p55-58 2011
Behavioral scientists have struggled with units of measurement for as long as they have struggled with measurement itself. Psychology's sole attempt at an explicit unit of measurement--the Lexile Framework for Reading (Stenner, Burdick, Sanford, & Burdick, 2006)--has been and continues to be ignored by the psychometric "cognoscenti." A recent exchange in "American Psychologist" on "Arbitrary Metrics" completely failed to address units, quantity, or measurement. Blanton & Jaccard's focus article and all commentaries (Embretson, 2006; Greenwald, Nosek, & Sriram, 2006; Kazdin, 2006) argued that counts of test scores are "metrics" (i.e., scales for continuous quantities in well-defined units). But as metrology makes perfectly clear, mere counts or frequencies are "never" measurements of continuous quantities (Bureau International des Poids et Mesures, 2006). Against this backdrop of endemic confusion, Steve Humphry's article is a model of clarity. Humphry is to be commended for his efforts in this timely article, which raises many more questions than it answers. Indeed, it would take a book to address them. Yet the author fears Humphry's work may be seized by some as yet another example of how the Rasch model solves the problem of psychological measurement. However, there is not, and never will be, a silver bullet that achieves this. The author hopes both the subtleties of Humphry's article and the difficult questions it raises will not escape those with critical attitudes toward the vexing issue of genuinely scientific psychological measurement.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A