Little Green Book

DATA THEORY AND SCALING METHODS

The main purpose for a theory of data is to rationalize the use of scaling procedures. In other words, there are many different scaling methods available to the researcher. But which one is appropriate in any given situation? Data theory is intended to bring a comprehensive perspective to bear on this question. The choice of a scaling procedure always depends upon the researcher's interpretation of the observations—that is, the nature of the data. In this chapter, we will examine the various types of data, and discuss some of the scaling procedures that are appropriate for each one. Note that the emphasis will be on scaling models rather than scaling techniques . That is, we will focus on abstract representations of variability within observations, rather than the specific details involved in constructing these representations. For the latter, readers will be referred to other sources, such as the appropriate volumes in this ...

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