semantic differential

(redirected from Osgood-type Scale)
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semantic differential

a device, designed by Osgood et al. (1957), to assess a person's phenomenological experience (see PHENOMENOLOGICAL PSYCHOLOGY). It is a way of standardizing and quantifying a person's assessments of objects/people/ experiences according to several bipolar, seven-point scales. Thus, for example, the subject may be required to assess his or her mother according to the scale good -bad, choosing one of seven points on the continuum. This might be repeated for the scales warm – cold, happy – sad, or any other pairs of adjectives the investigator thinks is appropriate to gaining more understanding of the person's perception of the mother. At least 15 scales are normally required to provide an informative profile. Three main factors are involved, according to Osgood: Evaluative, Potency and Activity. The scores can be used to compare one subject's varying responses to different stimuli concepts, or responses from a group of individuals may be compared. Responses to a wide range of concepts and in varied settings, from therapeutic to consumer choice, can be assessed by this technique.
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