COMM 2367H Lecture Notes - Lecture 14: Guttman Scale, Likert Scale, Electrodermal Activity

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Lecture Fourteen
Measuring Attitudes
Guttman Scale
Scale progresses from items easiest to accept to those most difficult to endorse
Those who get a high score on Guttman scale agree with all items
Those with moderate attitudes agree with questions that are easy and moderately difficult to
endorse
Those with mildly positive attitudes agree only with items that are easy to accept
Downfalls of the Guttman Scale
Difficult to contrast- must create a perfect sequence that logically flows from one question to
another
Difficult to administer- difficult to not skew the data and frame the questions
Semantic Differential
Participants rate an object based upon bipolar adjectives
Explored the meanings people attach to social objects, focusing on the emotional aspect of the
attitude
Likert Scale
A series of opinion statements that asks individuals to rate their agreement or disagreement
with each statement along an individual scale
Assumes each item taps the same underlying attitude and there are significant
interrelationships among items
Presumes there are equal intervals between categories
Most researchers prefer 5-7 point scales
This allows for differing opinions but not so many items that the participant is overwhelmed
Some Negatives in Attitude Scales
All attitudes and people are different so there will never be a perfect scale
Inaccuracies could result from factors such as..
Respondent carelessness in answering questions
Social desirability
Tendency to agree with items regardless of content
More Problems
Language: how the question is asked can influence the response
Context: survey questions early in the questionnaire can influence responses later on
Non- Attitudes
The middle person
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