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SCALES OF

MEASUREMENT
Unit II

Dr. Nisanth.P.M, Assistant Professor, Dept of Education, RGU


➤ S.S. Stevens (1951) has divided the process of
measurement into four levels on the basis of their
facts — Nominal level, Ordinal level, Interval level and
Ratio level.
➤ “In its broadest sense, measurement is the assignment
of numerals to objects or events according to rules”
➤ On the basis of these four levels or scales,
measurement is of four types — Nominal
measurement, Ordinal measurement, Interval
measurement and Ratio measurement.

Dr. Nisanth.P.M, Assistant Professor, Dept of Education, RGU


1. Nominal Measurement

➤ In the measurement of this level or scale, a particular


characteristic of an object or person is seen, and on its
basis is allotted the classification or symbol; for example, to
name the students as boys or girls on the basis of sex, to
name the students as urban or rural on the basis of place,
to name the students as belonging to primary class, middle
class, higher class, medical class or engineering class, on
the basis of level of education.
➤ It is evident that nominal measurement is a qualitative
measurement and is very ordinary in its approach.
➤ It is the least appropriate type of measurement. 


Dr. Nisanth.P.M, Assistant Professor, Dept of Education, RGU


2.Ordinal Measurement 


➤ In the measurement of this level or scale, the


quantity of a characteristic of an object or person is
measured, and is allotted a classification, name or
symbol on the basis of quantity; for example, to
classif y the students as belonging to high
intelligence, medium intelligence or low intelligence
on the basis of quantity of their intelligence
➤ Classify the students as belonging to first class,
second class or third class on the basis of the marks
obtained. 


Dr. Nisanth.P.M, Assistant Professor, Dept of Education, RGU


2.Ordinal Measurement 


➤ The students of the first classification are


better than those of the second classification,
and the students of the second classification
are better than those of the third
classification; they are inter-related. The
measurement of this level is better than
nominal measurement.

Dr. Nisanth.P.M, Assistant Professor, Dept of Education, RGU


3. Interval Measurement


➤ In the measurement of this level or scale, a


trait of an object or person is measured in unit
numbers and there is equal difference
between any two continuous unit numbers;
for example, to award the students with
marks 40, 38, 52, 64, etc. in an examination.

Dr. Nisanth.P.M, Assistant Professor, Dept of Education, RGU


3. Interval Measurement


➤ These unit numbers have a difference of one (1) between


40-41, and 38-39 to have a difference of a unit number;
➤ In
this level there is no unit like zero (0) which may express
absence of trait.
➤ Forexample, if a student scores zero in an achievement test
of a subject, it does never mean that his achievement is nil
or his ability in the subject is nil. This zero only signifies
that the student has not succeeded in solving any of the
questions asked in the achievement test. Because there is
possibility that he can solve other questions of the subject,
so his/her knowledge in the subject cannot be zero.

Dr. Nisanth.P.M, Assistant Professor, Dept of Education, RGU


3. Interval Measurement


➤ It is evident that interval measurement is


b e t t e r t h a n t h e fi r s t t w o t y p e s o f
measurements, still it is not a fully
appropriate measurement. But this type of
measurement is mostly used in the field of
education.

Dr. Nisanth.P.M, Assistant Professor, Dept of Education, RGU


4. Ratio Measurement

➤ The measurement of this level possesses all the
characteristics of interval measurement, besides having the
concept of true zero.
➤ Thetrue zero is the point at which the trait is completely
absent.
➤ From the concept of this zero, the obtained results can be
compared and they can be given ratio value. So it is called
ratio measurement.
➤ Forexample, if the weight of Ram is 60 kg and that of
Shyam 20 kg, then it can be said that the ratio in their
weights is 3 : 1.
Dr. Nisanth.P.M, Assistant Professor, Dept of Education, RGU
4. Ratio Measurement

Determining scales of Measurement