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A form of measurement technique based on the observation of supposed common cultural meanings or shared social interpretations. One common sociological use of this technique is the attempt to devise measures of social prestige or social standing via occupational scaling—as, for example, in the Hope-Goldthorpe scale of occupational prestige (see J. H. Goldthorpe and K. Hope. The Social Grading of Occupations, 1974). However, the most frequent application of scaling techniques in sociology is probably in the measurement of attitudes and personality traits, in which field a number of specialist scaling techniques have been devised. See also authoritarian personality; Bogardus social distance scale; equal appearing intervals; Guttman scale; Likert scale; multi-dimensional scaling; semantic differential.

Subjects: Social Work — Sociology.

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