ERIC Number: ED203372
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Aug
Reference Count: 0
A Guttman Scale Analysis of the Burger Court's Press Decisions.
Stempel, Guido H., III
L. L. Guttman's scaling procedures were used to analyze United States Supreme Court decisions concerning the press for the period 1971-1981. Guttman scaling is essentially a means of determining whether a given set of responses is unidimensional, meaning that the responses are part of a single hierarchical continuum. The 44 press cases during the period were arranged from those most favorable to those least favorable to the press, while justices were ranked according to their favorability to the press (their overall record in the 44 cases). The resulting grid formed by the justices' votes on individual cases was 95% within the idealized triangular grid that Guttman scaling is supposed to produce when unidimensionality is evident. The fact that Supreme Court Justices' votes on press cases can be ordered on a Guttman scale above the 90% criterian is an indication that the decision making process on the Court is somewhat simpler than many analysts have suggested, possibly an indication that the Supreme Court decisions are politically motivated along liberal-conservative dimensions. Coupled with individual justices' voting trends and the increasing trend toward more decisions unfavorable to the press, the scaling data indicate that an antipress bloc on the Supreme Court is gaining strength. (RL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Guttman Scales; Supreme Court
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Education in Journalism (64th, East Lansing, MI, August 8-11, 1981).