Standardization in psychological research.


score transformations
normal distribution
z scores
response styles
social desirability

How to Cite

Fischer, R., & L. Milfont, T. (2010). Standardization in psychological research. International Journal of Psychological Research, 3(1), 88–96.


The term standardization has been used in a number of different ways in psychological research, mainly in relation to standardization of procedure, standardization of interpretation and standardization of scores. The current paper will discuss the standardization of scores in more detail. Standardization of scores is a common praxis in settings where researchers are concerned with different response styles, issues of faking or social desirability. In these contexts, scores are transformed to increase validity prior to data analysis. In this paper, we will outline a broad taxonomy of standardization methods, will discuss when and how scores can be standardized, and what statistical tests are available after the transformation. Simple step-by-step procedures and examples of syntax files for SPSS are provided. Applications for personality, organizational and cross-cultural psychology will be discussed. Limitations of these techniques are discussed, especially in terms of theoretical interpretation of the transformed scores and use of such scores with multivariate statistics.
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