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A Science of Decision MakingThe Legacy of Ward Edwards$
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Jie W. Weiss and David J. Weiss

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195322989

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195322989.001.0001

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A Mean for All Seasons

A Mean for All Seasons

Chapter:
(p.246) 18 A Mean for All Seasons
Source:
A Science of Decision Making
Author(s):

Jie W Weiss

David J Weiss

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195322989.003.0018

A common research agenda for psychologists is to establish the empirical connection between stimulus and response. Response variability often threatens to obscure the connection. To surmount that challenge, behavioral researchers combine scores over subjects and/or occasions. The responses to a stimulus can be represented with a single value, an average. Averaging scores differs from averaging numbers in that behavioral issues are built into scores. The behavioral issues are the weight attached to a score and the metric on which the scores have been gathered. This chapter presents a single equation derived from Aczél's (1966) model of the quasilinear mean that encompasses the standard measures of central tendency. The equation allows for differential weighting of scores, and also addresses the metric issue by incorporating response transformation.

Keywords:   stimulus, response, average, scores, quasilinear mean, central tendency

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