ERIC Number: ED410244
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1997-Mar
A Different Approach to Attitude Scale Construction.
This paper suggests a new approach to attitude scale construction. Instead of asking respondents to express the extent or the degree of opinion on a particular issue, respondents should be asked about the factors that are relevant for the issue of interest and how much weight respondents are willing to attach to each relevant piece of evidence. This approach emphasizes the decision-making process respondents utilize in the formation of attitude toward a particular issue. The paper presents the theoretical framework underlying the approach and an application of the proposed scale method. The approach was applied to attitudes toward abortion held by 111 graduate students, staff, and faculty at a university in the Southeast. The survey instrument asked respondents to indicate the amount of influence each factor would have on the decision to be for or against abortion. In this way, respondents are not required to judge the degree of agreement with a declarative statement, and the attitude scale represents a rational decision-making approach. The scale takes the individual's life experience into account and derives the continuum of the attitude being examined. In fact, the middle of the scale is neutral when respondents' attitudes are normally distributed. In addition, the level of attitudes among respondents can be compared. (Contains 1 table, 2 figures, and 30 references.) (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Chicago, IL, March 24-28, 1997).