PSYC 510

VARIABLES, MEASURES, & SPSS PRACTICE WORKSHEET - SCALE OF

MEASUREMENT

Pracce 1 – Basic Concepts

Classify each operaonal variable below as nominal, ordinal, interval, rao (or scale).

a. Degree of pupil dilaon in a person’s eyes in a study of romanc couples (measured in millimeters)

b. Number of books a person owns.

c. A book’s sales rank on amazon.com

d. The language a person primarily speaks at home.

e. Naonality of the parcipants in a cross-cultural study of Canadian, Ghanaian, and French students.

f. A student’s le'er grade in school.

g. Narcissism as operaonally de(ned using the Narcissisc Personality Inventory (NPI – Raskin & Terry, 1988). This

40 queson survey counts the number of statements selected associated with narcissism and provides a single

score ranging from 0 – 40, with a higher score indicang greater levels of narcissism.

h. The queson “If you were given the chance, would you reapply to your current job?” Opons: Yes or No

i. The queson “Do you have fun at work?” using a sliding scale akin to Likert. People are shown all numbers 1 –

10 like in Likert, but instead of having to select a solid value, the parcipant can “slide” a bar anywhere on that

range.

Pracce 2 - Applicaon

Now that you can idenfy the scale of measurement, let’s pracce doing this from a scenario. For each scenario, idenfy

the independent and dependent variables, and the scale of measurement for each.

2-1.Does the level of seniority of a CEO a>ect a (rm’s performance? CEO level of seniority was categorized as New (0-1

years at the (rm); Moderate (2 – 7 years at the (rm), and Advanced (8+ years at the (rm). The (rm’s performance

was de(ned as the simple count of the number of acquisions in the last year.

2-2. This study examines whether there is a di>erence between CEO narcissism in male and female CEOs. Narcissism

was operaonally de(ned as the CEO’s use of (rst-person singular pronouns in interviews (determined by counng

the number of (rst-person singular pronouns divided by the sum of those pronouns plus all (rst- person plural

pronouns for a percent ranging from 0 – 100%).

Page 1 of 3

Review of Material: Scale of measurement – nominal, ordinal, interval/rao/scale (Module 2)

Informaon from: Video “Measurements” and Ch. 3 Jackson “Scales (Levels) of Measurement”

Addional pracce: Jackson ch. 3 Crical thinking check 3.1 Q2; MC self-test Q1 – 4 (answers in e-book for self-check)

Note: this is an OPTIONAL worksheet to pracce applying some of this module’s key concepts. Please make sure you

complete all assigned readings and watch this module’s presentaons before a'empng the worksheet! Try to

complete it on your own, then check your answers with the answer key details (at the end of the document).

PSYC 510

ANSWER KEY for Scale of Measurement

Pracce 1 – Basic Concepts

Classify each operaonal variable below as nominal, ordinal, interval, rao (or scale). Answers are in red. Remember,

NOMINAL implies there are categories. ORDINAL requires magnitude. INTERVAL requires equidistant spacing between

levels of magnitude, and RATIO requires an absolute zero. These are ordered from least to most powerful. You go with

the scale of measurement that is the most powerful with all criteria met when labelling a variable’s scale of

measurement. Remember, for the purposes of this class (and primarily in the social sciences), Likert-based quesons will

always be considered interval (or SCALE). “SCALE” encompasses both interval and rao measurement types, as when it

comes to stascal tests, we don’t have to di>erenate.

a. Degree of pupil dilaon in a person’s eyes in a study of romanc couples (measured in millimeters) RATIO /

SCALE

b. Number of books a person owns. RATIO / SCALE

c. A book’s sales rank on amazon.com ORDINAL (has categories and magnitude, but it could be that the 3

rd

most

popular may have 50000 more votes than the 4

th

, whereas there is only 24 vote di>erence between the 2

nd

and

3

rd

… so not necessarily equidistant spacing).

d. The language a person primarily speaks at home. NOMINAL (no magnitude)

e. Naonality of the parcipants in a cross-cultural study of Canadian, Ghanaian, and French students. NOMINAL

(no magnitude)

f. A student’s LETTER grade in school. ORDINAL – much larger range for an F than any of the others, thus there is

no equidistant spacing. However, there is categories and magnitude.

g. Narcissism as operaonally de(ned using the Narcissisc Personality Inventory (NPI – Raskin & Terry, 1988). This

40 queson survey counts the number of statements selected associated with narcissism and provides a single

score ranging from 0 – 40, with a higher score indicang greater levels of narcissism. RATIO (since there is an

absolute zero) or SCALE

h. The queson “If you were given the chance, would you reapply to your current job?” Opons: Yes or No

NOMINAL (categories only)

i. The queson “Do you have fun at work?” using a sliding scale akin to Likert. People are shown all numbers 1 –

10 like in Likert, but instead of having to select a solid value, the parcipant can “slide” a bar anywhere on that

range. A sliding scale was described as akin to Likert – people are shown all numbers 1 – 10 like in Likert, but

instead of having to select a solid value, the parcipant can “slide” a bar anywhere on that range. They don’t

necessarily see the “inbetween” values, but the computer can provide the “exact” locaons. This gives more

range of data and so is typically considered more favorable / powerful by researchers in the debate of scale of

measurement. Regardless, in this course and typically in the social sciences, Likert is considered “scale” (or

“interval”), so that would be this scale of measurement as well. (As long as data is interval / rao / scale you can

run the same stascs, but it is good to know the theorecal di>erences! Remember – interval doesn’t have a

true zero; rao does. “Scale” is used to encompass both interval and rao data).

Pracce 2 - Applicaon

Now that you can idenfy the scale of measurement, let’s pracce doing this from a scenario. For each scenario, idenfy

the independent and dependent variables, and the scale of measurement for each.

Page 2 of 3

PSYC 510

2-3.Does the level of seniority of a CEO a>ect a (rm’s performance? CEO level of seniority was categorized as New (0-1

years at the (rm); Moderate (2 – 7 years at the (rm), and Advanced (8+ years at the (rm). The (rm’s performance

was de(ned as the simple count of the number of acquisions in the last year.

Remember “Independent” and “dependent” variables were covered last module. In this scenario, they want to see if

level of seniority a>ects a (rm’s performance. The independent variable (“cause”) then, is level of seniority. This is

actually a subject variable (wasn’t manipulated). Regardless, the scale of measurement is ORDINAL because there is

categories and magnitude, but no equidistant spacing within groups (new covers 24 month period; moderate is 5

years; advanced is an even larger range). Dependent variable is the “e>ect” and would be “(rm’s performance”.

Number of acquisions is RATIO (or scale), as there can be zero, and there is equidistant spacing.

2-4. This study examines whether there is a di>erence between CEO narcissism in male and female CEOs. Narcissism

was operaonally de(ned as the CEO’s use of (rst-person singular pronouns in interviews (determined by counng

the number of (rst-person singular pronouns divided by the sum of those pronouns plus all (rst- person plural

pronouns for a percent ranging from 0 – 100%).

Since again nothing is manipulated, to (nd out what the independent (subject) variable is, you ask what they think is

the “cause” vs. “e>ect”. In this scenario, they think gender may help explain narcissism. So, the independent

variable is gender, and the dependent variable is narcissism. Gender is NOMINAL (only categories). Narcissism is

RATIO / SCALE (percent range from 0 – 100% so there is a zero and equidistant units because each).

NOTE: There are sll opportunies for extra pracce! Try compleng Jackson ch. 3 Crical

thinking check 3.1 Q2 and MC self-test Q1 – 4 (answers in e-book for self-check)

Page 3 of 3