Positive Asymmetry and the Subjective Side of Scientific Measurement

Karen A. Cerulo

in Never Saw It Coming

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print September 2006 | ISBN: 9780226100326
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226100296 | DOI:
Positive Asymmetry and the Subjective Side of Scientific Measurement

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This chapter investigates how positive asymmetry is incorporated in scientific measurement. It analyzes a vast array of scientific gauges and measures designed to capture the broad range of quality, from academic grading to consumer ratings and from psychological assessments to the scoring of athletic performances. The analysis reveals that positive asymmetry is so deeply entrenched in most groups and communities that it affects a variety of carefully crafted quality-assessment tools, even scientific tools that we commonly assume to be objective and accurate measures.

Keywords: positive asymmetry; scientific measurement; quality-assessment tools; scientific tools; academic grading; consumer ratings; psychological assessments; athletic performances

Chapter.  6320 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Sociology

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