Different types of measurement scales Essay Example

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    Logic & Programming
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Measurements 2



Question 1 marked out 5.

Explain why there is a need to have different types of measurement scales (at present, we have five).

).Michell., pg. 398, 1986 satisfies all the four properties (Ratio scale encompasses magnitude, identity, and equal intervals. Interval scale: represents both the identity and the magnitude of the measurement. Ordinal scale: satisfies only the identity characteristic of the measurement. Nominal scaleEach scale represents different phenomenon. Therefore the objective is to be able to identify the scale type that best represents the data one is dealing with, use the scale properly and interpret the scale properly too.

The scales have equal scale units along them.Equal intervals:There is a true zero point where there is no value existing beyond this point. Minimum value zero: each value on the scale is a unique representation. Identity: values present on a scale have an ordered relationship with each other. There exists a differentiable size that is some values are small while others are large. Magnitude: There is need to have different measurement scales because of the diversity and the need to try and cover every single element there is in regards to measurement. Also, each of the measurement scales has different characteristics and or properties. This includes magnitude, identity, the minimum value of zero and equal intervals.

Question 2 marked out 5.

Explain why the absolute scale is the most powerful scale amongst the 5 measurement scales.

The absolute scale is applied in cases where precise values are required making this type of scale absolute as the name suggests, thus this type of scale is very important because of the exact measurements for example of volume, length, and pressure. In other words, the absolute scale really tells the situation as it is without comparison and or relation with other factors. Time, for example, is measured in relative terms, that is referring to the birth of Jesus for example on the other hand, absolute measurement of temperature using the absolute scale gives us the absolute zero where all vibration atomic activity and or matter ceases to possess thermal energy unlike other scales which fix zero at some other temperatures.

The absolute scale is specific as early on illustrated, it begins at a minimum and only extends in one direction that is it begins at a natural minimum and progresses in one direction, unlike the relative scale, for example, making it easy to follow and or trace. One can follow through easily while reading this type of scale and it also eliminates confusion and doubts.

Question 3 marked out 5.

Give an example of a measurement statement, which is meaningful. Explain why it is so.

It is colder today because yesterday was 50 degrees Fahrenheit while it is only 25 degrees today thus makes yesterday twice as warm as today.

While it might be true that both degrees Celsius and Fahrenheit represent temperature, these scales (degrees and Fahrenheit) use different numbers. Take the example of boiling water which boils at 100 degrees but boils at 212 degrees Fahrenheit. There are ratio scales and Fahrenheit is not among them and therefore it is meaningless to assert that 50 degrees are twice as warm as 25 degrees, this is what people usually thing but the truth of the matter is the procedure they use to come up with such assertions is false and misconceived. Measures are more than numbers; they are a representation of an amount. What makes this statement means is the fact that amounts of temperature represented between 0 and 25 degrees are half that represented by the temperature difference between 0 and 50 and further the ratio is constant to any temperature scale. Temperature I equivalent under origin changes and that is the reason it is measured using an equal-interval ratio (Rasch.org, 2017).

Question 4 marked out 5.

Give an example of a measurement statement, which is not meaningful. Explain why it is not so

I weigh more as compared to an elephant.

Being meaningful is not same as being truthful. Now, this statement is false across all the known scales of weight and it is also meaningless. Across all scales of weight, I cannot weigh more than an elephant. This makes this statement false because by any calculation the weight of the elephant will always be more. Were it for example I weigh twice as much as an elephant it could be meaningful but not true, meaningful in the sense that when we get the difference between the relevant weighing scales then we can find a factor two that justifies the twice, whereas this is not the case like in question three above, this statement does not make any sense and thus it is meaningless. When we choose a common point of origin, then statement as twice find meaning. I this case we do not have any basis and therefore no starting point so as to establish the weights and say which weighs more than the other. As previously stated weight is more than numbers, it is about the amount.


Michell, J., 1986. Measurement scales and statistics: A clash of paradigms. Psychological bulletin, 100(3), p.398.

Rasch.org. (2017). Ratios and Meaningfulness in Measurement. [online] Available at: https://www.rasch.org/rmt/rmt214e.htm [Accessed 20 Aug. 2017].