Essay Measurement Scales

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Most people have been asked to participate in a survey or questionnaire at some point in their lives. The question was probably in the form of a scale that the research team setup in the questionnaire. Scales help researchers by giving respondents a way of conveying their thoughts and feelings in a subjective and measurable way. The survey or questionnaire is a tool for the researcher to capture the respondent’s thoughts and feelings. Each scale has different characteristics, depending on the answers to be measured. The nominal, ordinal, interval, and ratio are four scales typically used in questionnaires.
Nominal Scale
If a questionnaire consists of a question with a “this or that” type of answer it is probably based a nominal scale. A
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288). An ordinal scale is measured by percentage, mode, rank order correlation, and median. A rank-order scale is an ordinal scale that requires "the respondent to arrange a set of objects with regards to a common criterion" (Aaker, Kumar, & Day, 2007, p. 292). This is useful to researchers to gauge how a respondent’s ranks the importance of some subject.
In the example of a questionnaire for a refrigeration company, the respondent would be asked to rank their preference, one ranked as the most preferred to five as the least preferred, from a list of the top five refrigeration competitors. The researcher would be able to show the client where their company stands among the top five competitors. A comparative scale would give respondent’s attitude toward comparisons to the preference of quality with specific competitors (Aaker, Kumar, & Day, 2007).
Interval Scale
As defined in Marketing Research, "In an interval scale the numbers used to rank the objects also represent equal increments of the attribute being measured" (Aaker, Kumar, & Day, 2007, p. 289). The interval scale is similar to the ordinal scale because it ranks objects but it differs in that differences can be measured. On a scale of 10 the difference between three and four is the same difference as between seven and eight (Aaker, Kumar, & Day, 2007).
A Likert scale is a commonly used in questionnaires,
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