, Volume 17, Issue 2, pp 169-180

An internal consistency check for scale values determined by the method of successive intervals

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Abstract

The method of successive intervals is a psychological scaling procedure in which stimuli are classified into successive intervals according to the degree of some defined attribute which they are judged to possess. A psychological continuum is defined and the scale values are then taken as the medians of the distributions of judgments on the psychological continuum. It is assumed that the distributions of judgments for each stimulus are normal on the psychological continuum as defined.

An internal consistency check indicates that the cumulative distributions of empirical judgments for the various stimuli can be reproduced by means of a limited number of parameters with an average error that compares favorably with that usually reported for paired comparison data. Furthermore, the scale values obtained by successive interval scaling, for the data reported, are shown to be linearly related to those obtained by the method of paired comparisons.

This paper was written while the first author was a post-doctoral Research Training Fellow of the Social Science Research Council studying at the University of Chicago. It reports research undertaken in cooperation with the Quartermaster Food and Container Institute for the Armed Forces. The views or conclusions contained in this report are those of the authors. They are not to be construed as necessarily reflecting the views or endorsement of the Department of Defense.