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Scales and Indices Scales and Indices combine several categories in a question or several questions into a “composite measure” that represents a larger.

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Presentation on theme: "Scales and Indices Scales and Indices combine several categories in a question or several questions into a “composite measure” that represents a larger."— Presentation transcript:

1 Scales and Indices Scales and Indices combine several categories in a question or several questions into a “composite measure” that represents a larger concept Uses questionnaire materials efficiently Why used?

2 Why Composite Measures Cannot arrive at a single question that has closed ended answers that adequately describes a concept Example—religion may have many aspects such as church attendance, belief in God, etc. May want to analyze several dichotomous variables together, efficiently

3 Indices and Scales Both are measures that have “rank order” Both are composites of questions or other variables

4 How do they differ? An index is constructed as a simple sum of effects or values through accumulation of scores or numbers. It is a sum of concepts. A scale is constructed by assigning scores to a range of intensities of response. Is a measure of intensity of a single concept.

5 Logic of Construction See page 150 of the text Index—each respondent type is assigned a score based on the attribute to be scored, these are summed and a value (a number) is assigned and analysis is done on the number not the respondent type Scale—the responses are arrayed in order of intensity of some attribute and the intensity measure (a number) is used in analysis

6 Index Construction Select the items to be indexed Assign a value to each, can be weighted but need contributory factor analysis to do this Add the number of responses with a value for each respondent and construct an index value for the respondent Must have face validity Unidimensional (unlike scales) Variance

7 Index Construction Bivariate relationship—should be related statistically significantly related, this is a crosstab and significance testing issue Must add something to the concept or the explanation of the concept indexed Missing data eliminated before the index formed Must have Item validation and index validation—do the measure and it’s components measure what they purport to and are they sufficient measures

8 Likert Scales Really indices No equal measure between levels Likely, less likely, not likely format Assigned values to each level of the “scale” and you have an equivalent to an index

9 Scale Construction Ordinal ranking by intensity of a single variable Equal importance to each rank in the scale thus a measure of intensity of the concept or the variable used to represent it Examples—intensity of belief or attitude rather than likely/less likely format

10 Thurstone Scales Measure using equal intervals Assigns scores to the intensity of a specific concept Example 1 to 10—how happy are you right now (0?) How prejudiced are you? Scales can have zero and negative values, indices cannot

11 Guttman Scales A type of composite measure used to summarize Several discrete and quantifiable observations and to represent some more general variable or concept Example—scientific orientation would combine 4 questions about specific intensity attitutes and sum then for a scale of scientific orientation

12 Typology Multi-dimensional arrays of attitudes or opinions Usually independent variables arranged in a grid fashion that were originally dichotomous in nature

13 Uses of Scales and Indices Example—concept of women’s empowerment Multiple questions are involved which each discuss an aspect of women’s power to act and decide for themselves The importance of each must first be evaluated to give a power or intensity to each They are added and a scale (or if not intensified, an index) is born

14 Uses Makes concepts out of groups of attributes or opinions, actions Gives intensity and scalability


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