Monday, October 25, 2010
In Chapter 4 of Knight, he talks about the 4 characteristics that define a scale. The issue of validity stood out as being something that is taken for granted in many ways. We talked in class before about IQ tests. There is a debate about whether or not they have validity. They preference a certain way of thinking or learning and use that as the grounds for quantifying intelligence. If we accept this form of testing and evaluating intelligence then it would be meaningful to have a high score on the IQ test, but it could just as easily have no meaning if you don't believe that the testing framework has validity. In many ways this is what happens with our own school work. Our intelligence is being quantified, but from within a framework of evaluation. There are not exact (objective) right answers in the social sciences, but there are processes. Almost like if you got part marks for having done most of the steps right in a math problem but then come up with the wrong answer. There are certain criteria that must be met on assignments and these criteria can be assigned numerical significance.