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OPTIMAL SCALING FOR ORDERED CATEGORIES
FLORIDA STATE UNIV TALLAHASSEE
The determination of optimal weights for points on scoring scales for subjective comparative experiments is considered. A scoring scale with a specific number of points is considered and it is assumed that verbal or other indications imply an order to the scale points. The optimal spacing for the scale points is obtained in the sense that treatment or item differences are maximized relative to error or within treatment variation. The method is presented in sufficiently generalized form to be used directly with any experimental design leading to the analysis of variance. An iterative procedure is presented that is suitable for computer use and that yields the optimal differences among the ordered scale points. Properties of this procedure are discussed. Five examples with a five-point scale are shown for experiments on the acceptability of food samples from a food-product class. One example is discussed in detail and results for the others are shown for comparison. Author