In a methodological study recently published in this journal (No. 3, Vol. 5
1, 1999: 550-564), Klein and Arzheimer compared two competing methods for t
he measurement of personal value orientations, namely, rating and ranking.
Focussing on postmaterialist value orientations, they concluded chat rating
s are superior. In this article, it is argued that this conclusion is based
on a misleading interpretation of findings and a questionable research des
ign. In particular, the authors do not address the validity of the two meas
urement methods, implicitly assuming that they both capture the same cognit
ive dimension. Since it is unclear whether or not this assumption holds, a
broader research approach is suggested here, which allows assessment of bot
h the validity and the reliability of the competing methods. Given the lack
of empirical evidence regarding these points, theoretical considerations,
briefly outlined in the last section, are crucial for the selection of an a
ppropriate measurement strategy.