Scaling, Measurement, and Epistemology

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Originally published in Contemporary Psychology: APA Review of Books, 1993, Vol 38(11), 1224–1225. Reviews the book, Philosophical and Foundational Issues in Measurement Theory edited by C. Wade Savage and Philip Ehrlich (1992). This book is a collection of essays that provides readers with a glimpse of the ongoing debates and unresolved philosophical issues in the development of the latter approach (i e., formal scaling theories). The contributors to this volume include an impressive international tour de force of philosophers, mathematicians, and mathematical psychologists. Issues discussed in this book center around the formalist, representationahst approach, explicated by Krantz, Luce, Suppes, and Tversky (1971), which has been the dominant approach to scaling theory. With oversimplifications, this approach identifies and offers proof for a set of axioms and theorems that specify the conditions under which a numerical relational structure (a scale) can be used to represent a nonnumerical, empirical relational structure (object of measurement), and such axioms and theorems also define the limits of scale transformations (e g., additivity, linearity, and monotonicity). (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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