What Is Scale?

Sometimes researchers utilize a previously utilized but not fully validated scale or set of measures (i.e., improvised scales). Such actions destabilize construct validity and can lead to biased results.

To avoid these problems, a researcher must define clearly the construct that she intends to measure. This allows her to search for appropriate existing scales. She should also carefully examine any length, scope, intent, or item wording shifts before applying a shortened measure to her sample.


A ratio that indicates the relationship between a representation of an object and the object itself. For example, a scale model of a house is built smaller than the real thing but has all the same features. A map is also a kind of scale, because it shows distances or areas on a flat surface relative to the corresponding values on the earth.

A mathematical concept that allows us to enlarge or reduce shapes in two-dimensional geometry, for example, triangles. Using the concept of scale, we can shrink vast lands into small spaces on maps, or we can draw blueprints and scale models for machinery and architecture that would be impossible to hold at their actual sizes.

In music, a succession of tones ascending or descending according to fixed intervals, especially a series beginning on a particular note: the major scale. Despite their variety, many different types of scale exist, including some that are derived from non-Western interval patterns and singing techniques that produce sounds that can not be specified accurately through traditional musical notation.


Scale is a mathematical concept of relative proportion. It’s often used to describe a series of items that are related in size, such as the heights of mountains. It is also a system for measuring or comparing quantities, such as the Richter scale for earthquakes or the pay scale for workers.

Although the number of possible scales is theoretically infinite, specific scales tend to become conventionalized within a particular culture or musical tradition. The simplest scales are found in folk music and in nonliterate cultures, while the most complex scales occur in the music of highly advanced cultures.

A specialized kind of scale is the weighing balance, which measures weight in parts per hundred thousand. A more general sense of scale is attested from the late 14c as an instrument for weighing; this sense is also applied to other devices and objects such as pans or dishes on a scale. The word is also attested as a name for the constellation Libra, and as a verb meaning to weigh; scald is an old-fashioned synonym.


Scale is a concept that is used frequently by people who work with geographic information. It refers to the way in which phenomena are represented on maps, as well as to the different sizes of objects that can be seen from a particular location.

A scale is also the system of pitches that a piece of music is written in. While the number of different scales is theoretically infinite, specific scales become conventionalized within a given culture or musical tradition. The simplest scales occur in folk and nonliterate cultures, while the most complex occur in art-music traditions of highly advanced cultures.

Lastly, a scale is also the instrument or device for weighing: The butcher placed the meat on the scales. A scale can also refer to a set of graduated rates, as in a table of prices or wages: The union scale for musicians. These example sentences are automatically selected and may contain sensitive content.


Scaling an application involves increasing its ability to handle more traffic and data. This can be done by adding more powerful hardware or by using load balancers to distribute work. It can also be accomplished by optimizing application code or re-architecting the architecture.

Economies of scale are important for businesses that require high fixed costs such as banks and cable television companies. Larger companies can offer lower prices and better production systems. However, they may also suffer from diseconomies such as reduced product differentiation and barriers to entry from new entrants.

The use of different types of scale questions offers many benefits in research, including increased response reliability and improved interrater agreement (IRA) compared to agree/disagree (A/D) items. It is important to consider these differences when designing and analyzing your survey. In addition, using item-specific (IS) questions that have tailored response categories can reduce respondent effort and improve response quality. This is particularly important when working with low-income respondents.

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