2. Measurement of a construct requires an operational definition. Instructors may want to
review this concept, which is taken up in this chapter and elaborate on how an operational
definition indicates how a construct’s subjective and/or objective properties are measured on
a scale. For instance, “purchase intention” may be operationally defined as a respondent’s
indication on a 7-point scale where 1 corresponds to “not at all likely” and 7 pertains to “very
likely” to purchase the brand at his/her next purchase.
3. Scale development in an academic context is much more rigorous than in an applied context.
If an instructor desires to bring this difference to students’ attention, Churchill’s scale
development paradigm (Churchill , “A Paradigm for Developing Better Measures of
Marketing Constructs,” Journal of Marketing Research, 16, 64–73) is a good vehicle. A
slightly different approach would be to relate the scale development steps reported in a recent
scale development article.
4. To help students understand the idea of measurable qualities, have them generate as many
different rating aspects of one or more of the following:
A convenience store
A department store
A new automobile
Use class discussion to point out how customers may harbor positive ratings on some
qualities, but negative ratings on others, and how this information has important marketing
5. Numerical versus letter grades can be used as an example of how higher-level scaling
assumptions (metric) provide more information than lower-level ones (categories). For
instance, take numerical grades. Suppose one student has an 89 average, and another student
has an 81 average. Assuming that 80to 89 defines the “B” letter grade range, both are B
students, but the 89 student is closer to an A, although the 81 student is closer to a C. This
closeness is not contained in the categorical letter grade system, but it is in the metric grading
Class discussion can focus on whether it is better to have a ratio scale (1–100 scale) or an
ordinal (A–F scale) as a way to measure the goodness of students. How would students feel
about a categorical pass-or-fail system? Hopefully, students will desire a more sensitive scale
rather than a less sensitive one. The point is that with a low level scale, there is little
information about the performance of the individual student.
6. It is useful to remind students of the inability of observation and most other qualitative
methods to look into the minds of those people being studied. The reason for scaling stems
from a need to standardize respondents’ answers into a consistent format that can be used to
summarize and compare their answers.
An in-class exercise can be used to illustrate the need for and benefits of using standardized
scales. Select some subject with some controversial or emotional aspect to it. Possible