ABSTRACT

In a general way, the importance of good measurement is widely accepted and emphasized within the social sciences. It is even stressed in elementary textbooks. Yet with the exception of psychology and economics, there has been surprisingly little systematic attention given to the subject in the social science literature. To be sure, most investigators are concerned about the measurement of the particular variables they are studying. But there has been relatively little effort to extract general principles from these specific instances or to develop specializations that focus primarily on problems of measurement. Few advanced-level courses on measurement appear in graduate curricula, and when they do they are most likely to be concerned with topics developed out of either the psychometric or the econometric literature—topics such as index construction, factor analysis, or scaling theory.