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Resources on Scale Construction, Reliability, Validity
DeVellis, Robert F. , Scale development: theory and applications, 2nd Ed. Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications, 2003.
Sage publishes good introductory texts on topics in research methods. This is a good example. It has separate chapters on reliability and validity and discusses the underlying "latent variable"--the principal component in a factor analysis. The second edition seems to be substantially expanded, including a new presentation on factor analysis.
Babbie, Earl R. The Practice of Social Research, 10th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, 2003.
This is 600+ page $85 textbook treats virtually every aspect of research methods. You can buy earlier editions at a fraction of the cost and will get nearly identical information. It chapter on "Indexes, Scales, and Typologies" is concise and comprehensive.
Zeller, Richard A. and Edward G. Carmines. Measurement in the Social Sciences: The Link between Theory and Data. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1980.
This is my favorite, probably because Carmines is a political scientist. Unfortunately, the book is out of print, but the library has a copy.
Manheim, Jarol B., Richard C. Rich, Lars Willnat. Empirical Political Analysis: Research Methods in Political Science, 5th Ed. Longman; 2001.
This is a fine methods text by a 1971 NU PhD, Jerry Manheim, a professor at George Washington University and founding Director of the School of Media & Public Affairs. I used an earlier edition the last time I taught our required methods in 1993.
Web Sites
Reliability and Validity
Dr. Chong Ho (Alex), Yu at Arizona State University College of Education has a superb web site on this topic embedded in a complex of pages on research methods.
Reliability and Validity: What's the Difference?
William M.K. Trochim is a Professor in the Department of Policy Analysis and Management at Cornell University and hosts a Center for Research Methods. This is a very readable and informative web site.
Attitudinal and Demographic Items/Scales
This is a much more comprehensive presentation of scaling in general. Be warned that it has 57 slides. It was created by Donna McAlister Kizzier in the Department of Education at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln.