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Scale Construction

Kenneth Janda, Northwestern University, Winter Quarter 2003

This session of the Things-You-Should-Have-Learned-in-School methods workshop will discuss how to operationalize concepts, i.e., how to bridge the world between abstract theory and empirical research by creating real-world indicators of theoretical concepts.

It will cover these topics: the difference between a scale and an index; types of scales (Thurstone, Guttman, Likert, etc.); the difference between reliability and validity in measurement; and how to assess the reliability of a composite scale (one built from multiple items), with particular emphasis on computing Cronbach's alpha coefficient of reliability.

Resources: Books and Web Sites

Outline of Talk