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Course: 0192I - Research

Methodology

Measurement and Scaling Concepts


Week 5

REFERENCES
Zikmund, Babin, Carr, and Griffin.
(2009).
Business Research Methods. 8th edition.
Thomson
South-Western.
ISBN
:
9780324320626.

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(1) WHAT DO I MEASURE?

Measurement
2

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The process of describing some


property of a phenomenon of interest,
usually by assigning numbers in a
reliable and valid way.
4

Are There Any


Validity
Issues with
This
Measurement?

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Concepts

A researcher has to know what to


measure before knowing how to
measure something.
The problem definition process
should suggest the concepts that
must be measured.

Concept
A generalized idea that represents
something of meaning.

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Operationalization
The process of identifying scales that
correspond to variance in a concept to
be involved in a research process.

Operational
Definitions

Scales
A device providing a range of values
that correspond to different values in a
concept being measured.
4

Correspondence rules
Indicate the way that a certain value
on a scale corresponds to some true
value of a concept.

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VARIABLES
Researchers use variance in concepts to make diagnoses.
Therefore, when we defined variables in an earlier chapter,
we really were suggesting that variables capture different
concept values.
Scales capture variance in concepts and, as such, the
scales provide the researchers variables. Thus, for
practical purposes, once a research project is underway,
there is little difference between a concept and a variable.

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CONSTRUCTS
A term used to refer to concepts measured with
multiple variables.
When a business researcher wishes to
measure the customer orientation of a
salesperson, several variables like these may
be used, each captured on a 15 scale:

1.
2.
3.

I offer the product that is best suited to a customers


problem.
A good employee has to have the customers best
interests in mind.
I try to find out what kind of products will be most
helpful to a customer.2

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Constructs can
be very helpful in
operationalizing
a concept.

(2) LEVELS OF SCALE


MEASUREMENT
Nominal scales represent the most elementary level of
measurement. A nominal scale assigns a value to an object for
identification or classification purposes only. The value can be, but
does not have to be, a number because no quantities are being
represented. In this sense, a nominal scale is truly a qualitative
scale. Nominal scales are extremely useful, and are sometimes
the only appropriate measure, even though they can be
considered elementary.

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LEVELS OF SCALE
MEASUREMENT

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LEVELS OF SCALE
MEASUREMENT
Ordinal scales allow things to be arranged in order
based on how much of some concept they possess. In
other words, an ordinal scale is a ranking scale. In fact,
we often use the term rank order to describe an ordinal
scale.

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LEVELS OF SCALE
MEASUREMENT
When business professors take some time off and go to the race
track, even they know that a horse finishing in the show position has
finished after the win and place horses (see the second drawing in
Exhibit 13.4). The order of finish can be accurately represented by an
ordinal scale using an ordered number rule:
Assign 1 to the win position
Assign 2 to the place position
Assign 3 to the show position
1

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LEVELS OF SCALE
MEASUREMENT
Interval Scales
Scales that have both nominal and ordinal
properties, but that also capture information about
differences in quantities of a concept from one
observation to the next.

Temperature

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LEVELS OF SCALE
MEASUREMENT

Ratio Scale

Represent the highest form of measurement in


that they have all the properties of interval scales
with the additional attribute of representing
absolute quantities; characterized by a meaningful
absolute zero.

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Zero has meaning in that it represents


an absence of some concept.
An absolute zero is the defining
characteristic differentiating between
ratio and interval scales
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LEVELS OF SCALE
MEASUREMENT

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LEVELS OF SCALE
MEASUREMENT

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MATHEMATICAL AND
STATISTICAL ANALYSIS OF
SCALES

Discrete measures are those that take on only one of a finite


number of values.
A discrete scale is most often used to represent a classification
variable.
Therefore, discrete scales do not represent intensity of
measures, only membership.

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MATHEMATICAL AND
STATISTICAL ANALYSIS OF
SCALES

Thus, when someone is asked to choose from the following


responses
Disagree
Neutral
Agree
the result is a discrete value that can be coded 1, 2, or 3,
respectively. This is also an ordinal scale to the extent that it
represents an ordered arrangement of agreement. Nominal and
ordinal scales are discrete measures.

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MATHEMATICAL AND
STATISTICAL ANALYSIS OF
SCALES
Continuous measures
Measures that reflect the intensity of a concept by
assigning values that can take on any value along some
scale range.

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(3) INDEX MEASURES


Attribute
A single characteristic or fundamental feature of
an object, person, situation, or issue.

Index measure
An index assigns a value based on how much of
the concept being measured is associated with an
observation. Indexes often are formed by putting
several variables together.

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INDEX MEASURES
Composite measures
Assign a value to an observation
based on a mathematical derivation of
multiple variables.

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For example, salesperson satisfaction may be


measured by combining questions such as How
satisfied are you with your job? How satisfied are
you with your territory? How satisfied are you with
the opportunity your job offers?
For most practical applications, composite measures
and indexes are computed in the same way.
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INDEX MEASURES
Summated scale
A scale created by simply summing
(adding together) the response to each
item making up the composite
measure.

Reverse coding
Means that the value assigned for a
response is treated oppositely from the
other items.

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INDEX MEASURES

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THREE CRITERIA FOR GOOD


MEASUREMENT
1. Reliability
2. Validity
3. Sensitivity

Reliability
An indicat
or of a m
easures
internal co
nsistency.

validity
The accuracy of a measure or the
extent to which a score truthfully
represents a concept.
Sensitivity
A measurem
ent instrum
ents
ability to ac
curately me
asure
variability
in stimuli or
responses.
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Questions
1. Define measurement. How is your performance in your research
class being measured?
2. What is the difference between a concept and a construct?
3. Suppose a researcher takes over a project only after a proposal
has been written by another researcher. Where will the
researcher find the things that need to be measured?
4. Describe, compare, and contrast the four different levels of scale
measurement.

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(4) ATTITUDE MEASUREMENT


Attitude
An enduring disposition to consistently
respond in a given manner to various
aspects of the world, composed of
affective, cognitive, and behavioral
components.
Hypothetical constructs
Variables that are not directly
observable but are measurable
through indirect indicators, such as
verbal expression or overt behavior.

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TECHNIQUES FOR MEASURING


ATTITUDES
Ranking
A measurement task that requires
respondents to rank order a small
number of stores, brands, or
objects on the basis of overall
preference or some characteristic
of the stimulus

rating
A measurement task that requires
respondents to estimate the
magnitude of a characteristic or
quality that a brand, store, or
object possesses.
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TECHNIQUES FOR MEASURING


ATTITUDES
Sorting
A measurement task that presents a
respondent with several objects or
product concepts and requires the
respondent to arrange the objects into
piles or classify the product concepts.
Choice
A measurement task that identifies
preferences by requiring respondents
to choose between two or more
alternatives.

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ATTITUDE RATING SCALES

Simple Attitude Scales: In its most basic form,


attitude scaling requires that an individual agree or
disagree with a statement or respond to a single
question.
For example, respondents in a political poll may be
asked whether they agree or disagree with the
statement The president should run for re-election.

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ATTITUDE RATING SCALES


Category scale
A rating scale that consists of several
response categories, often providing
respondents with alternatives to
indicate positions on a continuum

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ATTITUDE RATING SCALES


Likert scale
A measure of attitudes designed to allow respondents to
rate how strongly they agree or disagree with carefully
constructed statements, ranging from very positive to
very negative attitudes toward some object

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ATTITUDE RATING SCALES

Reverse recoding
A method of making sure all the items
forming a composite scale are scored
in the same direction. Negative items
can be recoded into the equivalent
responses for a non-reverse coded
item.

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ATTITUDE RATING SCALES


Composite scale
A way of representing a latent construct by
summing or averaging respondents reactions to
multiple items each assumed to indicate the latent
construct.

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ATTITUDE RATING SCALES


Semantic differential
A measure of attitudes that consists of a series of
seven point rating scales that use bipolar adjectives
to anchor the beginning and end of each scale.

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ATTITUDE RATING SCALES

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Numerical scale
An attitude rating scale similar to a semantic
differential except that it uses numbers, instead
of verbal descriptions, as response options to
identify response positions.

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ATTITUDE RATING SCALES


Stapel scale
A measure of attitudes
that consists of a single
adjective in the center of
an even number of
numerical values.

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ATTITUDE RATING SCALES


Constant-sum scale
A measure of attitudes in which
respondents are asked to divide a
constant sum to indicate the relative
importance of attributes; respondents
often sort cards, but the task may also
be a rating task.
Graphic rating scale
A measure of attitude that allows
respondents to rate an object by
choosing any point along a graphic
continuum.

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ATTITUDE RATING SCALES


Thurstone scale
An attitude scale in which judges
assign scale values to attitudinal
statements and subjects are asked
to respond to these statements.

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MEASURING BEHAVIORAL
INTENTION
Behavioral differential
A rating scale instrument similar to a
semantic differential, developed to
measure the behavioral intentions of
subjects toward future actions.

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RANKING
Paired comparison : A measurement technique that
involves presenting the respondent with two objects and
asking the respondent to pick the preferred object; more
than two objects may be presented, but comparisons are
made in pairs.
Sorting: Sorting tasks ask respondents to indicate their
attitudes or beliefs by arranging items on the basis of
perceived similarity or some other attribute.

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Questions
1.

What is an attitude? Is there a consensus concerning its


definition?

2.

Distinguish between rating and ranking. Which is a better


attitude measurement technique? Why?

3.

Assume the researcher wanted to create a summated scale


indicating a respondents attitude toward the trucking
industry.

4.

What would the result be for the respondent whose response


is as indicated below?

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(5) QUESTIONNAIRE DESIGN

For a questionnaire to
fulfill a researchers
purposes, the questions
must meet the basic
criteria of

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Relevance
Accuracy

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QUESTIONNAIRE DESIGN
To achieve these ends, a researcher who is systematically planning a
questionnaires design will be required to make several decisions
typically, but not necessarily, in the following order:

1. What should be asked?


2. How should questions be phrased?
3. In what sequence should the questions be
arranged?
4. What questionnaire layout will best serve the
research objectives?
5. How should the questionnaire be pretested?
Does the questionnaire need to be revised?

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GUIDELINES FOR CONSTRUCTING


QUESTIONS
Avoid Complexity: Use Simple,
Conversational Language

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Words
used
in
questionnaires should be
readily understandable to all
respondents.

The researcher usually has


the difficult task of adopting
the conversational language
of people at the lower
education
levels
without
talking down to bettereducated respondents.
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GUIDELINES FOR CONSTRUCTING


QUESTIONS
Avoid Leading and
Loaded Questions

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Leading question
A question that suggests or implies
certain answers.
Loaded question
A question that suggests a socially
desirable answer or is emotionally
charged.

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GUIDELINES FOR CONSTRUCTING


QUESTIONS
Counterbiasing statement
An introductory statement or preamble
to a potentially embarrassing question
that reduces a respondents reluctance
to answer by suggesting that certain
behavior is not unusual.

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Avoid Leading and


Loaded Questions

split-ballot technique
Using two alternative phrasings of the
same question for respective halves of
a sample to elicit a more accurate total
response than would a single
phrasing.
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GUIDELINES FOR CONSTRUCTING


QUESTIONS
Avoid Ambiguity: Be as Specific as Possible

Items on questionnaires often are ambiguous because


they are too general. Consider such indefinite words as
often, occasionally, regularly, frequently, many, good, and
poor. Each of these words has many different meanings.
For one consumer, frequent reading of Fortune magazine
may be reading all 25 issues in a year, while another might
think 12, or even 6 issues a year is frequent.

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GUIDELINES FOR CONSTRUCTING


QUESTIONS
Avoid Double-Barreled Items

Double-barreled question

A question that may induce bias because it


covers two issues at once.

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GUIDELINES FOR CONSTRUCTING


QUESTIONS
Avoid Making Assumptions

This question has a built-in assumption: that people believe


the dividends paid by General Electric are outstanding.

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GUIDELINES FOR CONSTRUCTING


QUESTIONS
Avoid Making Assumptions
8

By answering yes, the respondent implies that


the program is, in fact, outstanding and that things
are fine just as they are. When a respondent
answers no, he or she implies that GE should
discontinue the dividends.
The researchers should not place the respondent
in that sort of bind by including an implicit
assumption in the question.

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GUIDELINES FOR CONSTRUCTING


QUESTIONS
Avoid Burdensome Questions That May Tax the
Respondents Memory
A simple fact of human life is that people forget.
Researchers writing questions about past behavior or
events should recognize that certain questions may
make serious demands on the respondents memory.
Writing questions about prior events requires a
conscientious attempt to minimize the problems
associated with forgetting.

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GUIDELINES FOR CONSTRUCTING


QUESTIONS
Avoid Burdensome
Questions That May Tax
the Respondents
Memory

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If the researcher suspects that


the respondent may have
forgotten the answer to a
question, he or she may rewrite
the question in an aided-recall
formatthat is, in a format that
provides a clue to help jog the
respondents memory.

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GUIDELINES FOR CONSTRUCTING


QUESTIONS
Make Certain Questions Generate
Variance
We want our variables to vary! It is important
that the response categories provided cover the
breadth of possibilities (totally exhaustive), but
also critical that they yield variance across
respondents. In many ways, if all of the
respondents check the same box, we have not
generated usable information.

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WHAT IS THE BEST QUESTION


SEQUENCE?
Order bias
Bias caused by the influence of earlier
questions in a questionnaire or by an
answers position in a set of answers.

Funnel technique
Asking general questions before
specific questions in order to obtain
unbiased responses.

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WHAT IS THE BEST QUESTION


SEQUENCE?
Filter question
A
question
that
screens
out
respondents who are not qualified to
answer a second question
Pivot question
A filter question used to determine
which version of a second question will
be asked.

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WHAT IS THE BEST LAYOUT?


Good layout and physical attractiveness are crucial
in mail, Internet, and other self-administered
questionnaires. For different reasons, a good layout
in questionnaires designed for personal and
telephone interviews is also important.

Traditional Questionnaires
Internet Questionnaires
LAYOUT ISSUES

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Questions
Evaluate and comment on the following questions,
taken from several questionnaires. Do they follow the
rules discussed in this chapter?

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Questions

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Pictures
1.

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3.

4.

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Pictures
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7.

8.

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