Attitude Measurement


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This presentation was part of my graduate school studies.

Attitude Measurement

  1. 1. Attitude Measurement Matt Hendrickson Sopsy 640: Attitudes Dr. White August 31, 2006
  2. 2. Attitude Measurement <ul><li>There are numerous scales to measure attitudes </li></ul><ul><li>Here are a few of the most common </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Thurstone </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Likert/Likert-Type </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Guttman </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Semantic Differential </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Factor Analysis Primer From Whitley (2002) <ul><li>Many of these scales use factor analysis as a basis for their usability </li></ul><ul><li>This method creates subsets of variables; with the subset items being correlated with each other, but not the other subsets </li></ul><ul><li>There are two main uses for factor analysis </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Data reduction </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Scale development </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Factor Analysis cont. <ul><li>Data reduction </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Condenses large numbers of variables into a few for analysis simplification </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Scale development </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Scales should represent only one hypothetical construct </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>FA is used after the data has been collected on a pilot run and it determines if the items are intercorrelated </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If more than one factor is present, the scale is not measuring just one construct </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Thurstone (1928) <ul><li>Was intended to create a validated measure for assessing attitudes </li></ul><ul><li>See summary in Thurstone (1928) p. 552 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Specify the attitude to be measured </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Collect a variety of options </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Edit list to ≈ 100 statements of opinion </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sort statements into imaginary scale (300 p’s) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Calculate scale value of each statement </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Eliminate statements due to ambiguity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Eliminate statements due to irrelevancy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Select ≈ 20 statements evenly across scale </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Thurstone <ul><li>Although this measure was the first to apply principles of scaling to attitudes (Whitley, 2002), its popularity has diminished </li></ul><ul><li>These scales are less valid than Likert scales (of the same length) and take much longer to construct (Whitley, 2002) </li></ul><ul><li>This scale has been noted for its influence and for drawing attention to measuring attitude constructs (Dawes, 1994) </li></ul><ul><li>Lack external validity—not as useful outside of the classroom (Likert, 1970; p. 153) </li></ul><ul><li>There are alternative scorings for Thurstone scales that increase the validity from .76  .85 (Likert, Roslow, & Murphy, 1993) </li></ul>
  7. 7. Thurstone example In Whitley (2002) p. 364
  8. 8. Likert <ul><li>A.K.A. summated rating scales (Whitley, 2002) </li></ul><ul><li>Most widely used scale </li></ul><ul><li>Most direct and the easiest way to measure attitudes (Feldman, 2001) </li></ul><ul><li>Scored based on the sums of their responses (Whitely, 2002) </li></ul><ul><li>There has been discussion to the number of possible responses </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Anchoring-the verbal labels put to the numbers on measurement scales </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Should one use 1-5; 1-7; - 3- + 3? </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Likert vs. Likert-Type <ul><li>Difference between Likert and Likert-Type </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Likert: must go through development process </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Likert-type: just add numbers to an ordinal plane </li></ul></ul><ul><li>To be a true Likert scale, the scale must utilize all four of these steps (Whitley, 2002) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Write a large number of items for the variable to be measured, which must include both extremes; include numbers with the anchors </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Administer the items to a large number of respondents (minimum of 100) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Conduct an item analysis (discriminates between high and low scorers)—ensures internal consistency (.7<) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Highest item-total correlations create the final scale </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Likert scales are unidimensional (assumption) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Can get at multidimensional constructs, but must use sub-scales </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Likert Scaling In Shaughnessy, Zechmeister, & Zechmeister (2003) p. 150
  11. 11. Likert example In Whitley (2002) p. 362
  12. 12. Guttman <ul><li>Uses a gradation of attidudes, from least to most extreme (Feldman, 2001) </li></ul><ul><li>Based on the premise that you endorse all of the items up to a point, and none after that point (Feldman, 2001) </li></ul><ul><li>The last point endorsed is the p’s score (Whitley, 2002) </li></ul><ul><li>Primarily useful when the attitude being assessed follows a stepwise sequence. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Rarely used for this reason, most behaviors are not stepwise sequences </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Guttman example In Whitley (2002) p. 365
  14. 14. Semantic Differential <ul><li>Allows the targeting of an evaluative component of the attitude, as well as accessing broad concepts, rather than specific ones (Feldman, 2001) </li></ul><ul><li>Has p’s rate the concept on sets of bipolar adjective pairs; for instance, good-bad , active passive , strong-weak (Whitley, 2002) </li></ul><ul><li>Scored by adding up item values (7 point scale, usually - 3 to + 3; Whitley, 2002) </li></ul><ul><li>Also have false SD scales, use of arbitrary pairs </li></ul><ul><li>Osgood et al. (1957, pp. 53-55; in Whitley, 2002) have developed a large listing of pairs that have been tested and can be used for this task </li></ul>
  15. 15. Semantic Differential example In Feldman (2001) p. 337
  16. 16. Likert, SD, & Guttman examples In Feldman (2001) p. 337
  17. 17. References: <ul><li>Dawes, R. M. (1994). Psychological Measurement. Psychological Review, 101, 278-281. </li></ul><ul><li>Feldman, R. S. (2001). Social Psychology (3 rd ed.). Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice Hall. </li></ul><ul><li>Likert, R. (1970). A technique for the measurement of attitudes. In G. F. Summers (Ed.), Attitude assessment (pp. 149-158). Chicago: Rand-McNally. (Excerpted from: A technique for the measurement of attitudes, Archives of Psychology , 1932, No. 140). </li></ul><ul><li>Likert, R., Roslow, S., & Murphy, G. (1993). A simple and reliable method of scoring the Thurstone Attitude Scales. Personnel Psychology, 46, 689-690. </li></ul><ul><li>Shaughnessy, J. J., Zechmeister, E. B., & Zechmeister, J. S. (2003). Research Methods in Psychology (6 th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill. </li></ul><ul><li>Thurstone, L. L. (1928). Attitudes can be measured. American Journal of Sociology, 33, 529-554. </li></ul><ul><li>Whitley, B. E. Jr. (2002). Principles of Research in Behavioral Science (2 nd ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill. </li></ul>