Measurement Essay

4342 words - 18 pages

Measurement is the heart of scientific discipline. It is the process of assigning numbers to objects or observations, the level of measurement being a function of the rules under which the numbers are assigned.
According to Zikmund, “Measurement is the process of describing some property of a phenomenon of interest, usually by assigning numbers in a reliable and valid way”.
In our daily life we are said to measure when we use some yardsticks to determine weight, height or some other features of a physical object. We also measure when we judge how well we like a song, intelligence, achievement, attitude, perception regarding quality. We, thus, measure physical object as well ...view middle of the document...

2) Ordinal measurement: The 2nd type of measurement scale is known as the ordinal measurement. An ordinal scale has all the properties of a nominal scale plus one of its own. Besides, categorizing individuals, objects, responses, or a property into sub-groups on the basis of common characteristics, it ranks the sub-groups in a certain order. They are arranged either in ascending or descending order according to the extent a sub-group category. A student rank in his graduation class involves the use of an ordinal scale. One has to be very careful in making statement about scores based on ordinary scales. For instance, if Karim’s position in his class is 10 & Rahim’s position is 40, it cannot be said that Karim’s position is four times as good as that of Rahim. Ordinal scales only permit the ranking of items from highest to lowest. In ordinary scale have only a ranking meaning, the appropriate measure of central tendency is the median. Correlations are restricted to various rank order method.
3) Interval measurement: The interval level of measurement includes all the properties of nominal and ordinal but an addition property that the difference (interval) between values is known and of constant size. The interval measurement describes variables that have more or less equal intervals, or meaningful distances between their ranks. For example, if you were to ask somebody if they were first, second, or third generation immigrant, the assumption is that the distance or number of years, between each generation is the same. All crime rates in criminal justice are interval level measures, as is any kind of rate.
4) Ratio measurement: The ratio level of measurement describes variables that have equal intervals and a fixed zero (or reference) point. It is possible to have zero income, zero education, and no involvement in crime, but rarely do we see ratio level variables in social science since it's almost impossible to have zero attitudes on things, although "not at all", "often", and "twice as often" might qualify as ratio level measurement.
Advanced statistics require at least interval level measurement, so the researcher always strives for this level, accepting ordinal level (which is the most common) only when they have to. Variables should be conceptually and operationally defined with levels of measurement in mind since it's going to affect how well you can analyze your data later on.
The purposes of measurement are described below:
1) Differentiation of things:
For the differentiation of things from one to another, measurement is necessary. In our daily life, we only distinguish the character and qualities of things, and on the basis of this, we reject or choose certain things. Qualitative differences are the first fruits of enquiry in sciences. But it is not enough to know only the qualitative differences in daily life or in sciences. It is more necessary to know the magnitude of such differences precisely....

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