In research

there are six tools, one being measurement. What exactly is measurement? When

we hear the word ‘measurement’, our mind automatically thinks of it as the

process of finding a number to show the size, length or the amount of something

by the use of a ruler or such mathematical instruments. However, that’s not the

concept to be discussed. Measurement in Research is putting a limit to a

specified period in which you want to study; for example, conducting a research

to show the different races and living styles in a community. Instead of having

a community grouping to try to head count and categorize the different races,

you could easily conduct a questionnaire/ survey. By doing so it will be easier

to attain a quantitative data. Measuring data can be either substantial– have

physical substance/ appearance in the world– or insubstantial – feelings,

thoughts, concepts.

There are four

Scales of Measurements in Research: nominal, ordinal, interval and ratio

scales. Nominal scale basically categorizes a group of objects using names to

show that one object differs from the other. For example, categorize a group of

Standard Six students by their hair colour. Data obtained does not overlap nor

does it have a numerical significance. Secondly, ordinal scale shows that one

object is bigger or better than another. For example, conducting a survey to

show how students feel about the school cafeteria. We may label the score sheet

with #1 being the worst, #2 being fairly good, #3 being good and #4 being

excellent. We can’t say how much worst is from fairly good. Ordinal scale only

measures feelings rather than numerical data. Interval scales not only measures

order, but also give a numerical difference between objects. For example, we

can measure the exact amount of time it takes two people walking the same

distance at different speed. Lastly,

ratio scale tells the exact value of how many more times an object is bigger

than the other. For example, the difference between a height of ten feet and eight

feet is the same as the interval between five feet and three feet.

When a

researcher wants to know how good they’re measurements are they depend on

reliability and validity of measurements. The reliability is the consistency of

the measures taken by the researcher. The validity is where the results of the

measures represent what they are intended to. However, both validity and

reliability also shows the errors in our measurements. For example, if your mom

is making cake and is measuring the flour to make separate mixes, she won’t

always have the same exact measurement both times. Therefore, when conducting

research you must always be consistent with your measurements to get your

intended outcome.

It is important

to understand the level of measurement of variables in research, because the

level of measurement tells the researcher what type of statistical analysis

should be done that will therefore draw a conclusion from the research. Without measurement, the researcher fails to

interpret data accurately. Measurement in research is more than placing a

measuring tape to measure an object. It is to analyze and interpret data so

that researchers can find the answer to why an object behaves the way it does

for example.