Quantitative Marketing and Economics

, Volume 10, Issue 3, pp 283–304 | Cite as

Conversion of ordinal attitudinal scales: An inferential Bayesian approach

  • Michael Evans
  • Zvi Gilula
  • Irwin Guttman


The need for scale conversion may arise whenever an attitude of individuals is measured by independent entrepreneurs each using an ordinal scale of its own with possibly different numbers of (arbitrary) ordinal categories. Such situations are quite common in the marketing realm. The conversion of a score of an individual measured on one scale into an estimated score of a similar scale with a different range is the concern of this paper. An inferential Bayesian approach is adopted to analyze the situation where we believe the scale with fewer categories can be obtained by collapsing the finer scale. This leads to inferences concerning rules for the conversion of scales. Further, we propose a method for testing the validity of such a model. The use of the proposed methodology is exemplified on real data from surveys concerning performance evaluation and satisfaction.


Ordinal scales Collapsing scales Scale conversions Bayesian inference 

JEL Classification




The authors thank the Editor and two referees for many helpful comments.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of StatisticsUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Department of StatisticsHebrew UniversityJerusalemIsrael
  3. 3.Department of StatisticsState University of New YorkBuffaloUSA

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