Scale types

There are two broad classes of measurement scale: comparative and non-comparative scales (see Figure 6.2).

With comparative scaling the respondent is asked to compare one set of objects against another. For example, a respondent might be required to compare one brand of butter against the other brands that they consider when making a purchase in a supermarket. Results have to be interpreted in relative terms and have ordinal or rank order properties. The scores obtained indicate that one brand is preferred to another, but not by how much. In the case of this type of scale, relatively small differences among the objectives being compared can be detected.

In non-comparative scaling respondents are required to evaluate each object independently of other objects being investigated. Non-comparative scaling is often referred to as monadic scaling.

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