It has been reported that the physiological motion of the stapes in human and several animals in response to acoustic stimulation is mainly piston-like at low frequencies. At higher frequencies, the pattern includes rocking motions around the long and short axes of the footplate in human and animal ears. Measurements of such extended stapes motions are highly sensitive to the exact angulation of the stapes in relation to the measurement devices and to measurement errors. In this study, velocity in a specific direction was measured at multiple points on the footplates of human temporal bones using a Scanning Laser Doppler Vibrometer (SLDV) system, and the elementary components of the stapes motions, which were the piston-like motion and the rocking motions about the short and long axes of the footplate, were calculated from the measurements. The angular position of a laser beam with respect to the stapes and coordinates of the measurement points on the footplate plane were calculated by correlation between the SLDV measurement frame and the footplate-fixed frame, which was obtained from micro-CT images. The ratios of the rocking motions relative to the piston-like motion increased with frequency and reached a maximum around 7 kHz.A novel method for quantitatively assessing measurements of complex stapes motions and error boundaries of the motion components is presented. In the frequency range of 0.5 to 8 kHz, the magnitudes of the piston-like and two rocking motions were larger than estimated values of the corresponding upper error bounds.