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Thurstone Scaling

  1. William I. Sauser

Published Online: 30 JAN 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470479216.corpsy0996

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

How to Cite

Sauser, W. I. 2010. Thurstone Scaling. Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 1.

Author Information

  1. Auburn University

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 JAN 2010


Thurstone scaling, also known as the method of equal-appearing intervals, is a technique devised by Louis L. Thurstone (1928) for constructing quantitative unidimensional attitude measurement instruments. It is an improvement over earlier scaling methods in that it results in an interval scale, rather than a nominal or ordinal scale, and thus it yields results that can be analyzed by using parametric statistics. Thurstone scaling is a time-consuming and cumbersome methodology that has largely been supplanted in popularity by newer psychometric techniques for measuring attitudes, such as Likert scaling, Bogardus scaling, the Osgood semantic differential, and the Rasch model. Nonetheless, Thurstone scaling is still in use as an attitude-scaling technique, and it is a major step in the development of behaviorally anchored rating scales, mixed standard rating scales, and weighted checklists for measuring work performance.


  • attitudes;
  • measurement;
  • methods;
  • psychometrics;
  • scaling