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Given a data set of a sample of N persons and of a selection of n survey questions (variables) designed for measuring a particular trait—such as people's position on a political issue or their ability in a specific field of human activity—a Guttman Scale is the hypothesis that the data set would have a cumulative structure, in the following sense: For any two persons in the observed sample, one of them would exhibit all the manifestations of the trait that the other person would, and possibly additional ones. That is, there would be no two persons in the sample with the one person higher than the other in one variable but lower than the other in another variable.

To the extent a Guttman Scale hypothesis ...

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