An Introduction To the Logic of Psychological Measurement by Joel Michell

By Joel Michell

This booklet declines to take without any consideration the common assumption that present psychometric systems offer clinical dimension. The presently trendy innovations of size inside psychology -- operationalism and representationalism -- are significantly tested, and the classical view, that dimension is the overview of volume, is defended. inside this framework, it's proven how conjoint dimension can be utilized to check the speculation that variables are quantitative. This topic is constructed intimately utilizing primary mental examples, corresponding to Thurstone's legislation of comparative judgment, multidimensional scaling, and Coombs' concept of unfolding.

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A relational system is a class of entities together with one or more relations into which the entities enter. For example, suppose that the entities involved are rods of various lengths and that the relation concerned is that of being at least as long as. Then the rods standing in this relation to one another constitute a relational system. Relational systems possess structure. The structure is constituted by the proper­ ties of the relations involved. For example, the relation of being at least as long as has the properties of being transitive and strongly connected.

The overthrow of “Newtonian” theory was no minor adjustment and so could have been seen as an indictment of inductivism, but Bridgman concluded, instead, that the fundamental concepts involved in “Newtonian” theory were to blame. They had been improperly defined in the first place, being laced, he thought, with more than a dash of metaphysics. Bridgman’s solution was a far-reaching program of conceptual reform. Scien­ tific concepts were to be purged of their metaphysical content through being reduced completely to the kinds of operations scientists use.

In practice density is measured via its functional relationship to other variables, mass and volume, using the fact that, density = mass/volume. So the measure­ ment of density is based on the prior measurement of mass and volume, and this kind of dependence characterizes what Campbell called derived measurement. He thought that derived measurement scales emerged through the discovery of constants in numerical relationships between extensive (or fundamentally measurable) variables. Although this account may be historically plausible, it will not do as an explanation of the logic of derived measurement from the representational point of view.

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