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Scaling CAMEO: Psychophysical Magnitude Scaling of Conflict and Cooperation


  • Author's note: The author thanks Philip A. Schrodt, Harvey Starr, and three anonymous reviewers for their thoughtful comments. In addition, the author thanks the University of West Florida, the University of Memphis, and Will McLean at Arkansas State University for the financial support to conduct the surveys on which this article is based.


Event data is the preferred method of characterizing directed-dyadic behavior through time and is a very versatile approach able to handle both state and nonstate actors. By scaling and aggregating values on a conflict and cooperation continuum, event data can provide a net measure of conflict between two parties for a set time interval. The CAMEO coding scheme was created to address structural flaws in the WEIS coding scheme and to handle better the post-Cold War environment. However, no systematic study has been completed for assigning fixed-weight conflict–cooperation scale values to the newer coding scheme, leaving an ad hoc transliteration of Goldstein scale values for WEIS as the best option. This paper reports the results of a psycho-physical magnitude scaling survey of 158 students from two universities where the students scaled CAMEO categories for conflict and cooperation. In addition to providing empirically based scale values for CAMEO, the paper also tests whether or not conflict and cooperation exist on a single continuum and whether or not a gender difference exists in perceptions of conflict and cooperation.