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ERIC Number: EJ879976
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Jan
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 84
ISSN: ISSN-0260-2938
Shifting Gears: Consequences of Including Two Negatively Worded Items in the Middle of a Positively Worded Questionnaire
Roszkowski, Michael J.; Soven, Margot
Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, v35 n1 p117-134 Jan 2010
A questionnaire used in student evaluations of interdisciplinary courses during six semesters contained two Likert items stated in a direct negative mode which were embedded in a questionnaire (14-18 items) in which the remaining items were phrased in a direct positive mode. In the seventh semester and thereafter, the two negative items were restated as direct positive stems. Item-analysis demonstrated that in the direct negative mode, the two items had low item-to-total correlations and that the internal consistency reliability of the sum score could be improved by eliminating the two negatively phrased items. Also, the two negatively worded items defined a separate factor. After they were reworded into a direct positive mode, these two items showed markedly improved item-to-total correlations. Moreover, the unique factor disappeared, which suggests that it was a methodological artefact probably attributable to respondent carelessness. Including a few negative items in an otherwise positively stated questionnaire leads to ambiguity of results rather than controlling for response sets. We therefore recommend against the practice. (Contains 4 tables.)
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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