ERIC Number: EJ780838
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Dec
Reference Count: 47
Psychometric Reevaluation of the Women in Science Scale (WiSS)
Owen, Steven V.; Toepperwein, Mary Anne; Pruski, Linda A.; Blalock, Cheryl L.; Liu, Yan; Marshall, Carolyn E.; Lichtenstein, Michael J.
Journal of Research in Science Teaching, v44 n10 p1461-1478 Dec 2007
The Women in Science Scale (WiSS) was first developed in 1984, and is still being used in contemporary studies, yet its psychometric properties have not been evaluated with current statistical methods. In this study, the WiSS was administered in its original 27-item form to 1,439 middle and high school students. Confirmatory factor analysis based upon the original description of the WiSS was modestly supportive of the proposed three-factor structure, but the claimed dimensions showed substantial redundancy. Therefore, we split our sample and performed exploratory factor analyses on one half. The most satisfactory solution, a two-factor model, was then applied to the crossvalidation sample with a confirmatory factor analysis. This two-factor structure was supported with a total of 14 items. Factor 1, "Equality," contains eight items, and factor 2, "Sexism," six items. Although our data are limited to adolescents, the WiSS, with improved psychometric properties, may be used descriptively to assess attitudes toward women in science and with additional stability and repeatability testing, may be used in evaluation research. The shortened WiSS should result in shorter administration time, fewer missing data, and increased acceptance among survey administrators in classroom settings. (Contains 2 figures and 5 tables. Appended are: (1) Peer-Reviewed Studies Using the Women in Science Scale (WiSS); and (2) Dissertation Studies Using the Women in Science Scale (WiSS).) [Additional funding for this article was provided by the Frederic C. Bartter General Clinical Research Center.]
Descriptors: Evaluation Research, Women Scientists, Factor Structure, Measures (Individuals), Factor Analysis, Psychometrics, Gender Bias, Females, Measurement Techniques, Middle School Students, High School Students, Science Achievement, Equal Education, Age Differences, Equal Opportunities (Jobs)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Grade 6; Grade 7; Grade 8; Grade 9; High Schools; Middle Schools
Sponsor: National Center for Research Resources (NIH), Washington, DC.; National Inst. on Aging (DHHS/NIH), Bethesda, MD.; National Heart, Lung, and Blood Inst. (DHHS/NIH), Bethesda, MD.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Texas; United States