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Thurstone scale


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A type of attitude scale constructed by the method of equal-appearing intervals, in which a large pool of candidate statements about an attitude object, ranging from strongly negative (Abortion is never justified) through neutral (There are arguments both for and against abortion) to strongly positive (Abortion is every woman's right), are sorted by a group of judges into eleven categories, assumed to appear equally spaced on the attitude continuum, according to how favourable the statements are towards the attitude object, and items that yield the highest level of agreement among the judges as to their scale position, and that collectively represent an adequate range of contents and scale positions, are then selected for the final scale. Respondents to the scale endorse just those items with which they agree, and an individual respondent's score is calculated as the mean (or occasionally median) of the items endorsed, such scores being assumed to lie on an interval scale of measurement. Also called an equal-appearing interval scale. Compare Guttman scale, Likert scale, semantic differential, unfolding technique, unobtrusive measure. [Named after the US psychologist Louis Leon Thurstone (1887–1955) who introduced it in an article in the journal Psychological Bulletin in 1929]

Subjects: Psychology.


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