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ERIC Number: EJ789983
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 13
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: 58
ISSN: ISSN-0146-6216
Effects of Semantic Incompatibility on Rating Response
Lam, Tony C. M.; Kolic, Mary
Applied Psychological Measurement, v32 n3 p248-260 2008
Semantic incompatibility, an error in constructing measuring instruments for rating oneself, others, or objects, refers to the extent to which item wordings are incongruent with, and hence inappropriate for, scale labels and vice versa. This study examines the effects of semantic incompatibility on rating responses. Using a 2 x 2 factorial design with semantic compatibility and scale packedness as the between-subjects factors, 160 university students were randomly assigned to four treatment conditions. Analysis of their responses to a 10-item academic ability self-assessment rating scale shows a significant difference in means between positive-packed and equal-interval conditions when item wordings and scale labels are semantically compatible. The semantically compatible conditions also show smaller variability and a slightly higher internal consistency of responses than the semantically incompatible conditions. The authors conclude that when rating scales are semantically incompatible, respondents tend to ignore the scale labels, use a greater variety of strategies to generate responses, and produce less reliable responses. (Contains 2 tables and 5 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada (Toronto)