Ipsative Scales

Ipsative Scales are person-centered scales designed to assess two or more attributes simultaneously through comparisons that produce an intraindividual profile of the relative strengths of those attributes. Generally speaking, under Ipsative Scales, respondents “distribute points” across the properties that are being assessed, such that obtaining a high score in one or more of the assessed properties necessarily means lower scores in other attributes. In this way, the scores that individuals obtain in a given attribute are dependent on the rest of their scores in all the other attributes that are being simultaneously considered. In 1944, Raymond Cattell coined the term ipsative from the Latin ipse, meaning “himself,” to refer to scales in which individuals’ scores on an attribute were assessed relative to their scores on ...

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