PhilSci Archive

Against Prohibition (Or, When Using Ordinal Scales to Compare Groups Is OK)

Larroulet Philippi, Cristian (2022) Against Prohibition (Or, When Using Ordinal Scales to Compare Groups Is OK). [Preprint]

[img]
Preview
Text
56FD90EC-0800-11ED-9AAB-9D990EEBCB4C.pdf

Download (511kB) | Preview

Abstract

There is a widely held view on measurement inferences, that goes back to Stevens’s theory of measurement scales and ‘permissible statistics’. This view defends the following prohibition: you should not make inferences from averages taken with ordinal scales (versus quantitative scales: interval or ratio). This prohibition is general—it applies to all ordinal scales—and it is sometimes endorsed without qualification. Adhering to it dramatically limits the research that the social and biomedical sciences can conduct. I provide a Bayesian analysis of this inferential problem, determining when measurements from ordinal scales can be used to confirm hypotheses about relative group averages. The prohibition, I conclude, cannot be upheld, even in a qualified sense. The beliefs needed to make average comparisons are less demanding than those appropriate for quantitative scales. I illustrate with the alleged paradigm ordinal scale, the Mohs scale of mineral hardness, arguing that the literature has mischaracterized it.


Export/Citation: EndNote | BibTeX | Dublin Core | ASCII/Text Citation (Chicago) | HTML Citation | OpenURL
Social Networking:
Share |

Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Larroulet Philippi, Cristiancristianlarroulet@gmail.com0000-0001-5793-4670
Additional Information: Accepted for publication in The British Journal of Philosophy of Science
Keywords: measurement; ordinal scales; hardness; Bayesianism
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Economics
General Issues > Evidence
Specific Sciences > Psychology
General Issues > Theory/Observation
Depositing User: Cristian Larroulet Philippi
Date Deposited: 20 Aug 2023 12:37
Last Modified: 20 Aug 2023 12:37
Item ID: 22438
Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1086/721759
DOI or Unique Handle: https://doi.org/10.1086/721759
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Economics
General Issues > Evidence
Specific Sciences > Psychology
General Issues > Theory/Observation
Date: 2022
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/22438

Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Monthly Downloads for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Altmetric.com

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item