The University of Arizona

Possible Effects of Social Science Measuring and Measurements on Persons Measured and Unmeasured: Reactivity

Merton S. Krause

Abstract


Believing one or persons like one are being, were, or will be measured on some social or psychological dimension and by whom may influence how one participates in being measured or otherwise lives one’s life in ways that affect one’s such measurements and their generalizability. Believing that one knows one’s own or certain others such measurements also may. Therefore the social sciences need to detect, avoid, and overcome these problems of reactivity to their measuring and measurements if they are to obtain valid measurements and generalizations from these. This requires the cooperation of the measured and so an understanding of the social psychology of measuring on such dimensions, of how persons participate in being measured on such dimensions and react to being informed about their own or some others measurements on these dimensions. These are matters that physical science measurement theory has no reason to be concerned with, is not, and so cannot properly provide a model for measurement of persons on social science dimensions.  


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2458/v9i1.23058