Attempting measurement of psychological attributes

Salzberger, Thomas (2013) Attempting measurement of psychological attributes. Frontiers in Psychology, 4 (75). pp. 1-4. ISSN 1664-1078

Available under License Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0).

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Measures of psychological attributes abound in the social sciences as much as measures of physical properties do in the physical sciences. However, there are crucial differences between the scientific underpinning of measurement. While measurement in the physical sciences is supported by empirical evidence that demonstrates the quantitative nature of the property assessed, measurement in the social sciences is, in large part, made possible only by a vague, discretionary definition of measurement that places hardly any restrictions on empirical data. Traditional psychometric analyses fail to address the requirements of measurement as defined more rigorously in the physical sciences. The construct definitions do not allow for testable predictions; and content validity becomes a matter of highly subjective judgment. In order to improve measurement of psychological attributes, it is suggested to, first, readopt the definition of measurement in the physical sciences; second, to devise an elaborate theory of the construct to be measured that includes the hypothesis of a quantitative attribute; and third, to test the data for the structure implied by the hypothesis of quantity as well as predictions derived from the theory of the construct. (author's abstract)

Item Type: Article
Keywords: measurement / construct validity / content validity / construct theory / Rasch model
Divisions: Departments > Finance, Accounting and Statistics > Statistics and Mathematics
Version of the Document: Published
Variance from Published Version: None
Depositing User: Elena Simukovic
Date Deposited: 21 Apr 2016 14:15
Last Modified: 27 Jul 2020 11:19
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