Numerical rating scales

Teenagers sometimes play a rating game whereby they evaluate the appearance and 'sexiness' of the various girls/boys they see passing by in the street on a scale of 1-10. They would be surprised to hear that what they are doing is applying numerical rating scales. These scales involve 'giving so many marks out of so many,' that is, assigning one of several numbers corresponding to a series of ordered categories describing a feature of the target. The popularity of this scaling technique is due to the fact that the rating continuum can refer to a wide range of adjectives (e.g., excellent —> poor; conscientious slapdash) or adverbs (e.g., always never); in fact, numerical ratings can easily be turned into semantic differential scales and vice versa. Sample 2.2 on page 28 provides an example.

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