Measurement scales and statistics: Resurgence of an old misconception


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Abstract

S. S. Stevens (1946) stated that there is a relationship between psychological measurement scales and statistical procedures such that parametric techniques require the presence of at least interval scale data. This idea was incorporated into numerous statistics books, but has been attacked and shown to be fallacious. This problem is reviewed, and measurement scales and statistical aspects are considered. The misconception was previously and is presently based on a confusion between measurement theory and statistical theory. For statistical tests of null hypothesis, “the numbers do not know where they came from.” (19 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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