For example, if you look at your research participants as they enter the room, decide whether each one is male or female, and type this information into a spreadsheet, you are engaged in nominal-level measurement. Examples are … But while the rank ordering procedure communicates the fact that the second-place runner took longer to finish than the first-place finisher, the stopwatch procedure also communicates how much longer the second-place finisher took. These measures generally fall into one of three broad categories. Measurement is the assignment of scores to individuals so that the scores represent some characteristic of the individuals. The important point here is that measurement does not require any particular instruments or procedures. 1, . This is an extremely broad category that includes the observation of people’s behavior both in highly structured laboratory tasks and in more natural settings. Although people do not normally think of categorizing or ranking individuals as measurement, in fact they are as long as they are done so that they represent some characteristic of the individuals. Stress is a good example. The result of this procedure is a score that represents the object’s potential energy. To do this, she might use a backward digit span task, where she reads a list of two digits to the person and asks him or her to repeat them in reverse order. Researchers have also operationally defined stress in terms of several physiological variables including blood pressure and levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Finally, physiological measures are those that involve recording any of a wide variety of physiological processes, including heart rate and blood pressure, galvanic skin response, hormone levels, and electrical activity and blood flow in the brain. For example, if you look at your research participants as they enter the room, decide whether each one is male or female, and type this information into a spreadsheet, you are engaged in nominal-level measurement. Their operational definition, then, was the number of these specifically defined acts that the child committed in the 20-minute period. The Fahrenheit scale is a clear example of the interval scale of measurement. Behavior can be assessed through observation as well as psychological tests. She then repeats this several times, increasing the length of the list by one digit each time, until the person makes an error. Or if you ask your participants to indicate which of several ethnicities they identify themselves with, you are again engaged in nominal-level measurement. As an example, consider either the Fahrenheit or Celsius temperature scales. Be as precise as you can. This is what distinguishes ordinal from nominal scales. Transmission of aggression through imitation of aggressive models. The ordinal level of measurement involves assigning scores so that they represent the rank order of the individuals. developing psychological measures. The approach taken by the specialist in … Interval scales are not perfect, however. Practice: Think of three operational definitions for sexual jealousy, decisiveness, and social anxiety. Sometimes they throw them out altogether. First, I consider the measurement of transitive reasoning for which an instrument is used that consists of a set of problems, such as those shown in Fig. A good example of the former would be measuring working memory capacity using the backward digit span task. Perhaps the most common measure of internal consistency used by researchers in psychology is a statistic called Cronbachs α (the Greek letter alpha). One reason is that many scientific constructs do not have counterparts in everyday language (e.g., working memory capacity). An university instructor measures the time it takes her students to finish an exam by looking through the stack of exams at the end. Medical tests are usually straightforward. The full text of a unpublished psychological test or measure (usually without the scoring key, with a few exceptions) PsycTESTS (APA) PsycTESTS provides information on over 27,000 psychological tests, measures, and other assessment tools. Consider the possibility of self-report, behavioral, and physiological measures. Practice: Complete the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale and compute your overall score. For example, there is no sense in which the ratio of 40 to 20 degrees Fahrenheit is the same as the ratio of 100 to 50 degrees; no interesting physical property is preserved across the two ratios. Psychological constructs such as intelligence, self-esteem, and depression are variables that are not directly observable because they represent behavioural tendencies or complex patterns of behaviour and internal processes. In some cases, an older conceptual definition has been replaced by a newer one that works better. Behavioral measures are those in which some other aspect of participants’ behavior is observed and recorded. For example, there are 252 ways to split a set of 10 items into two sets of five. Interval Scale: In interval scale scores are expressed in equal units. Psychological construct is a type of psychological measurement. Of course this general definition of measurement is consistent with measurement in psychology too. These kinds of variables are called constructs (pronounced CON-structs) and include personality traits (e.g., extroversion), emotional states (e.g., fear), attitudes (e.g., toward taxes), and abilities (e.g., athleticism). Sometimes they throw them out altogether. Level of measurement in which scores represent the rank order of the individuals, showing how individuals are different from each other and whether they are higher or lower on the variable being measured. Unlike nominal scales, ordinal scales allow comparisons of the degree to which two individuals rate the variable. Psychological constructs cannot be observed directly. These include sex, age, height, weight, and birth order. Second, the levels of measurement can serve as a rough guide to the statistical procedures that can be used with the data and the conclusions that can be drawn from them. Level of measurement used for categorical variables and involves assigning scores that act as category labels. The psychologist S. S. Stevens suggested that scores can be assigned to individuals so that they communicate more or less quantitative information about the variable of interest (Stevens, 1946). One cannot say that someone with an IQ of 140 is twice as intelligent as someone with an IQ of 70 because IQ is measured at the interval level, but one can say that someone with six siblings has twice as many as someone with three because number of siblings is measured at the ratio level. The Perceived Stress Scale is another self-report measure that focuses on people’s feelings of stress (e.g., “How often have you felt nervous and stressed?”). Variables that are not straightforward or simple to measure such as intelligence. On the other hand, ordinal scales fail to capture important information that will be present in the other levels of measurement we examine. This is what allows researchers eventually to draw useful general conclusions, such as “stress is negatively correlated with immune system functioning,” as opposed to more specific and less useful ones, such as “people’s scores on the Perceived Stress Scale are negatively correlated with their white blood counts.”. Imagine, for example, that a cognitive psychologist wants to measure a person’s working memory capacity—his or her ability to hold in mind and think about several pieces of information all at the same time. Self-report measures are those in which participants report on their own thoughts, feelings, and actions, as with the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale. This definition might also include that it has a strong genetic component, remains fairly stable over time, and is positively correlated with the tendency to experience pain and other physical symptoms. The use of multiple operational definitions, or converging operations, is a common strategy in psychological research. An important goal of scientific research is to conceptually define psychological constructs in ways that accurately describe them. Intelligence tests are used to measure intelligence, or your ability to understand your environment, interact with it … What it does require is some systematic procedure for assigning scores to individuals or objects so that those scores represent the characteristic of interest. Stages of Scale Development The American Psychological Association (1985, as quoted in Hinkin, 1995) established that sound measures must Consider the possibility of self-report, behavioural, and physiological measures. With nominal-level measurement, for example, the only available measure of central tendency is the mode. But researchers have operationally defined it in several ways. The important point here is that measurement does not require any particular instruments or procedures. Participants in a research study are asked whether they are right-handed or left-handed. As such, they can be used to help predict future behavior. First, they emphasize the generality of the concept of measurement. Research Methods in Psychology by Paul C. Price, Rajiv Jhangiani, & I-Chant A. Chiang is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted. Instead, each is a kind of summary of a complex set of behaviours and internal processes. In reality, the label “zero” is applied to its temperature for quite accidental reasons connected to the history of temperature measurement. More important, researchers are in the business of developing definitions that are more detailed and precise—and that more accurately describe the way the world is—than the informal definitions in the dictionary. Items are added up to a score, and it is assumed that this score represents a person’s position on the construct. Measurement is the assignment of scores to individuals so that the scores represent some characteristic of the individuals Psychological scales and measures play a role in diagnosis, hypothesis-testing,formulation, and ongoing assessments of … The difference between temperatures of 20°C and 25°C is precisely 5°, but a temperature of 0°C does not mean that there is a complete absence of heat. There are different types of evaluations used to determine things, such as a person's memory capacity or levels of depression or anxiety. Like an ordinal scale, the objects are ordered (in terms of the ordering of the numbers). Finally, the ratio level of measurement involves assigning scores in such a way that there is a true zero point that represents the complete absence of the quantity. The Daily Hassles and Uplifts Scale is similar but focuses on everyday stressors like misplacing things and being concerned about one’s weight. Or if you ask your participants to indicate which of several ethnicities they identify themselves with, you are again engaged in nominal-level measurement. 4. The classifications are important because they determine the type of statistical analysis you can do with the survey data you collect. A bone is broken or it isn't. An operational definition is a definition of a variable in terms of precisely how it is to be measured. However, zero on the Kelvin scale is absolute zero. This very general definition is consistent with the kinds of measurement that everyone is familiar with—for example, weighing oneself by stepping onto a bathroom scale, or checking the internal temperature of a roasting turkey by inserting a meat thermometer. Measurement of Sea Level is another example of an interval scale. Each of the Big Five can even be defined in terms of six more specific constructs called “facets” (Costa & McCrae, 1992)[1]. So are counts of discrete objects or events such as the number of siblings one has or the number of questions a student answers correctly on an exam. Like an interval scale, the same difference at two places on the scale has the same meaning. Notice also that neither extroversion nor fear “reduces to” any particular thought, feeling, act, or physiological structure or process. He administers the Beck Depression Inventory, which is a 21-item self-report questionnaire in which the person rates the extent to which he or she has felt sad, lost energy, and experienced other symptoms of depression over the past 2 weeks. The various measures of stress, for example, are all correlated with each other and have all been shown to be correlated with other variables such as immune system functioning (also measured in a variety of ways) (Segerstrom & Miller, 2004). Measurement instruments for psychological attributes appear different from clocks, thermometers, sphygmomanometers, and Geiger–Müller counters. Psychological constructs cannot be observed directly. The level of measurement affects the kinds of statistics you can use and conclusions you can draw from your data. Distinguish the four levels of measurement, give examples of each, and explain why this distinction is important. Stress is a good example. In fact, she might be sitting quietly by herself, reading a book. These services have traditionally had a low profile and been poorly understood, often embedded within block contract arrangements and not recognised as an integral service entity. (1961). For example, repeated samples of saliva can been obtained over the day and analyzed to measure the profile of cortisol release in people exposed to different levels of daily stress (Almeida et al., 2009). Height measured in meters and weight measured in kilograms are good examples. Many variables studied by psychologists are straightforward and simple to measure. More important, researchers are in the business of developing definitions that are more detailed and precise—and that more accurately describe the way the world is—than the informal definitions in the dictionary. Numerical variables are those in which the measured trait varies with the magnitude of the numbers assigned to cases. Also, ratio-level measurement is the only level that allows meaningful statements about ratios of scores. Ranks communicate not only whether any two individuals are the same or different in terms of the variable being measured but also whether one individual is higher or lower on that variable. The length of the longest list for which the person responds correctly is the score and represents his or her working memory capacity. Psychological measurement can be achieved in a wide variety of ways, including self-report, behavioral, and physiological measures. Finally, physiological measures are those that involve recording any of a wide variety of physiological processes, including heart rate and blood pressure, galvanic skin response, hormone levels, and electrical activity and blood flow in the brain. Deductive Reasoning - from General Theory to Data. This is an extremely broad category that includes the observation of people’s behaviour both in highly structured laboratory tasks and in more natural settings. ), or they could time each runner to the nearest tenth of a second using a stopwatch (11.5 s, 12.1 s, etc.). Level of measurement in which scores represent the precise magnitude of the difference between individuals, but a score of 0 does not represent an absence of the characteristic. The use of multiple operational definitions, or converging operations, is a common strategy in psychological research. The remaining three levels of measurement are used for quantitative variables. Define measurement and give several examples of measurement in psychology. In others, researchers are still in the process of deciding which of various conceptual definitions is the best. In psychological measurement we like to quantify the amount of reliability of a test with a statistic called the Pearson correlation coefficient. In physics, for example, one might measure the potential energy of an object in Earth’s gravitational field by finding its mass and height (which of course requires measuring those variables) and then multiplying them together along with the gravitational acceleration of Earth (9.8 m/s2). Instead, each is a kind of summary of a complex set of behaviors and internal processes. Standard psychological … Level of measurement or scale of measure is a classification that describes the nature of information within the values assigned to variables. The level of measurement affects the kinds of statistics you can use and conclusions you can draw from your data. We cannot accurately assess people’s level of intelligence by looking at them, and we certainly cannot put their self-esteem on a bathroom scale. ), or they could time each runner to the nearest tenth of a second using a stopwatch (11.5 s, 12.1 s, etc.). A researcher accesses her participants’ medical records and counts the number of times they have seen a doctor in the past year. The main research question is whether it is possible to develop a scale that truly measure expertise. Variables can be measured at four different levels—nominal, ordinal, interval, and ratio—that communicate increasing amounts of quantitative information. The difference between temperatures of 20°C and 25°C is precisely 5°, but a temperature of 0°C does not mean that there is a complete absence of heat. Start studying Psychological Testing & Measure Exam 1. When scores based on several different operational definitions are closely related to each other and produce similar patterns of results, this constitutes good evidence that the construct is being measured effectively and that it is useful. Types of Reasoning Associated with Psychological Testing Inductive Reasoning - from Data to General Theory. Instead, it means that she has a general tendency to behave in extroverted ways (talking, laughing, etc.) In particular, the difference between two levels of an ordinal scale cannot be assumed to be the same as the difference between two other levels (just like you cannot assume that the gap between the runners in first and second place is equal to the gap between the runners in second and third place). For example, experimental subjects may be asked to rate their level of pain, how much they like a consumer product, their attitudes about capital punishment, their confidence in an answer to a test question. Please share your supplementary material! Since money has a true zero point, it makes sense to say that someone with 50 cents has twice as much money as someone with 25 cents. across a variety of situations. For any conceptual definition of a construct, there will be many different operational definitions or ways of measuring it. In many cases, the full-text of test instrument is provided. When psychologists use multiple operational definitions of the same construct—either within a study or across studies—they are using converging operations. Stevens’s levels of measurement are important for at least two reasons. A college instructor measures the time it takes his students to finish an exam by looking through the stack of exams at the end. For example, a man who has been divorced (73 points), changed jobs (36 points), and had a change in sleeping habits (16 points) in the past year would have a total score of 125. Practice: For each of the following variables, decide which level of measurement is being used. To measure a psychological construct such as extraversion, psychologists often use questionnaires with multiple items. For example, if we want to measure depression, the test will be valid if it measures depression only. It is also consistent with measurement in the other sciences. He administers the Beck Depression Inventory, which is a 21-item self-report questionnaire in which the person rates the extent to which he or she has felt sad, lost energy, and experienced other symptoms of depression over the past 2 weeks. In addition to self-report and behavioral measures, researchers in psychology use physiological measures. Another reason psychological constructs cannot be observed directly is that they often involve internal processes. Paul C. Price, Rajiv Jhangiani, & I-Chant A. Chiang, http://wikieducator.org/Introduction_to_Research_Methods_In_Psychology/Theories_and_Measurement/Levels_of_Measurement, Next: Reliability and Validity of Measurement, Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. He assigns the one on the bottom a score of 1, the one on top of that a 2, and so on. Bandura, A., Ross, D., & Ross, S. A. Next: 5.2 Reliability and Validity of Measurement, Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. Herself, reading a book can draw from your data consider the possibility of self-report, behavioral, and it. And counted the number of these 21 ratings is the only level that allows meaningful statements about ratios of.! The kinetic energy of molecules ) the development of procedures to measure )... Medical tests psychological measurement examples usually straightforward that accurately describe them her students to finish an exam by looking the! 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