By Joel Michell
This ebook declines to take without any consideration the frequent assumption that present psychometric strategies offer clinical size. The at the moment trendy options of size inside of psychology -- operationalism and representationalism -- are seriously tested, and the classical view, that size is the overview of volume, is defended. inside this framework, it's proven how conjoint dimension can be utilized to check the speculation that variables are quantitative. This subject is constructed intimately utilizing known mental examples, comparable to Thurstone's legislations of comparative judgment, multidimensional scaling, and Coombs' thought of unfolding.
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Additional info for An Introduction To the Logic of Psychological Measurement
THE THEORY OF MEASUREMENT IN PSYCHOLOGY is the class of positive linear transformations. That is, two interval scales, i and y, for the measurement of the same variable will be related by the following kind of equation: Hj (jc) = crn, (jc) + b (where a is some positive number and b is either a positive number or a negative one). F - 160/9. An interval scale involves the numerical representation of relations upon differences between entities with respect to some attribute. It requires an ordering upon such differences and a relation of composition upon them.
But this argument does not entail the collapse of Stevens’ theory. One could save Stevens’ theory by denying the principle that relations are extensionally definable or by arguing that relations like R 2 above are not of any scientific significance. Such moves, valid though they may be, are not necessary. Stevens’ theory is saved by the fact that empirical relational systems are partly constituted by the relations involved in them, and even though two systems may involve precisely the same objects they are different if they contain different relations.
O ’Neil says: It urges the scientist, in effect, not to take risks incurred in moving far from the facts. However, it may properly be asked whether science can be undertaken without taking the risks of skating on the possibly thin ice of supposition. The important thing is to know when one is on the more solid ground of observation and when one is on the ice. (1969, p. 154) More seriously still, this variety of operationalism incurs a logical error. The events involved in an operation (or its outcome) are at most only causally related to those hidden workings that theoretical concepts are intended to elucidate.