This dissertation builds on previous research on constrained scaling, a technique for training individuals to translate mental magnitudes to numeric scales. Constrained scaling has been found to reduce significantly the variability in scale use both within and between individuals. A series of 15 brief experiments related to constrained scaling is presented. Specific findings include: (1) loudness constrained scaling experiments can be implemented on a conventional personal computer without the need for specialized hardware; (2) loudness scaling experiments can be successfully conducted without the need for a sound attenuating chamber; (3) cross-modal constrained scaling exhibits scale carryover from the training to the testing stimuli; (4) cross-modal constrained scaling is also susceptible to stimulus range effects; (5) brightness stimuli should be flashed in order to minimize the possibility of participant light adaptation; (6) conventional computer monitors are effective for displaying color brightness scaling stimuli; (7) constrained scaling of color brightness results in significantly reduced variability compared to magnitude estimation; (8) interval stimuli are more effective than ordinal stimuli for scale training; (9) random noise should be added to feedback values when using ordinal training stimuli; (10) the optimal ratio of training to testing trials is 1:1; (11) the ratio of training to testing scaling exponents is constant across scaling modalities; (12) there is considerable individual difference in scaling the subjective utility of money; (13) constrained scaling increases sensitivity to individual differences in scaling; (14) constrained scaling is more sensitive than magnitude estimation for rating the subjective visual appeal of Web pages; (15) constrained scaling can be applied successfully to aid vi software users in making parameter selections for streaming media. These 15 experiments demonstrate that constrained scaling is easy to implement without costly or specialized psychophysical laboratory equipment. Further, the experiments highlight the current breadth of constrained scaling research, including traditional psychophysical domains such as loudness and brightness scaling to novel psychometric domains such as rating the subjective utility of money or the visual appeal of Web pages. Finally, they show that constrained scaling offers unmatched reliability in introspective elicitation, making it a powerful tool for cognitive research.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Constrained scaling, loudness scaling experiments, research, mental magnitude, psychological calibration, methodological triangulation, variance, reliability, cognition, psychophysics, psychometrics, cross-modal matching, ordinal scale, interval scale, loudness, brightness, color, happiness, visual appeal, quality of service, magnitude estimation
Publisher Department of Cognitive Science
Series Cognitive Science Technical Report Series
Boring, Ronald Laurids. (2004). Cognition and Psychological Scaling: Model, Method, and Application of Constrained Scaling. Technical Report 2004-10. Cognitive Science Technical Report Series. Department of Cognitive Science.