The Reliability of Survey Attitude Measurement

Source: OAI


Several theoretical hypotheses are developed concerning the relation of question and respondent characteristics to the reliability of survey attitude measurement. To test these hypotheses, reliability is estimated for 96 survey attitude measures using data from five, 3-wave national reinterview surveys-three Michigan Election Panel Surveys and two reinterview studies conducted by the General Social Survey. As hypothesized, a number of attributes of questions are linked to estimated reliability. Attitude questions with more response options tended to have higher reliabilities, although there are some important exceptions. More extensive verbal labeling of numbered response options was found to be associated with higher reliability, but questions explicitly offering a “don't know” alternative were not found to be more reliable. Question characteristics were confounded to an unknown degree with topic differences of questions, which were significantly linked to reliability, leaving the influence of question characteristics on reliability somewhat ambiguous. Characteristics of respondents were also found to be related to levels of reliability. Older respondents and those with less schooling provided the least reliable attitude reports. These results are discussed within a general framework for the consideration of survey errors and their sources. Peer Reviewed

26 Reads
  • Source
    • "Over time, repeated interaction with an attitude object forms the basis of an attitude which acts as a roadmap for a response when faced with the same, or a similar, attitude object in the future (Olson and Zanna 1993). Th us, attitudes serve as a mental shortcut for the individual when evaluating an attitude object, cutting down on the costs of decision-making and possibly infl uencing behavior (Alwin and Krosnick 1991, Eagly and Chaiken 1993, Olson and Zanna 1993). Attitude patterns are assumed to be socialized early and then generally strengthened over time as a result of confi rmation bias (Eagly and Chaiken 1993, McFarlane and Boxall 2003, Heberlein and Ericsson 2005), making them stable mental structures that govern the creation of our identity, our world view and our actions (Olson and Zanna 1993). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Understanding how changes in the sizes of large carnivore populations affect the attitudes of the public is vital in order to mitigate social conflicts over large carnivore management issues. Using data from two Swedish postal surveys in 2004 and 2009, we examined the probable social effects of a continued increase in the Swedish populations of bear and wolf by comparing levels of direct experience of bears and wolves with public attitudes towards these animals. We report an increase in direct experience of bears and wolves, lower levels of acceptance of the existence of these animals, and a lower degree of support for the policy goals of both species in 2009 compared to 2004. We also find that these changes are more prominent in areas with local carnivore populations than in other areas of Sweden. Our results imply that attitudes towards bears and wolves are likely to become more negative as populations continue to grow. The uneven distributions of the carnivore populations are likely to generate more frequent social conflicts in the future as they could cause an increase in the attitudinal divide between those members of the Swedish public who have had direct experiences of carnivores and those who have not.
    Wildlife Biology 05/2015; 21(3):131-137. DOI:10.2981/wlb.00062 · 0.88 Impact Factor
  • Source
    • "The final questionnaire asked participants their opinion of the relative value of these characteristics as representative of a student who, at the beginning of a placement, was prepared and ready to learn. A seven-point Likert Scale was used (1 = not important, 2 = slightly important, 3 = somewhat important, 4 = moderately important, 5 = important, 6 = very important, 7 = extremely important) as seven point scales have been found to be more reliable than five-point scales [25]. The questionnaire was then emailed to participants who had responded to the first round. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background During clinical placements, clinical educators facilitate student learning. Previous research has defined the skills, attitudes and practices that pertain to an ideal clinical educator. However, less attention has been paid to the role of student readiness in terms of foundational knowledge and attitudes at the commencement of practice education. Therefore, the aim of this study was to ascertain clinical educators’ views on the characteristics that they perceive demonstrate that a student is well prepared for clinical learning. Methods A two round on-line Delphi study was conducted. The first questionnaire was emailed to a total of 636 expert clinical educators from the disciplines of occupational therapy, physiotherapy and speech pathology. Expert clinical educators were asked to describe the key characteristics that indicate a student is prepared for a clinical placement and ready to learn. Open-ended responses received from the first round were subject to a thematic analysis and resulted in six themes with 62 characteristics. In the second round, participants were asked to rate each characteristic on a 7 point Likert Scale. Results A total of 258 (40.56%) responded to the first round of the Delphi survey while 161 clinical educators completed the second (62.40% retention rate). Consensus was reached on 57 characteristics (six themes) using a cut off of greater than 70% positive respondents and an interquartile deviation IQD of equal or less than 1. Conclusions This study identified 57 characteristics (six themes) perceived by clinical educators as indicators of a student who is prepared and ready for clinical learning. A list of characteristics relating to behaviours has been compiled and could be provided to students to aid their preparation for clinical learning and to universities to incorporate within curricula. In addition, the list provides a platform for discussions by professional bodies about the role of placement education.
    BMC Medical Education 11/2012; 12(1):112. DOI:10.1186/1472-6920-12-112 · 1.22 Impact Factor
  • Source
    • "But when the open-ended questions were used, very few participants indicated the problem of fear of crime. Another study reveals that the responses of older people to survey questions are less reliable than younger people [22]. This is because as getting older, people's ability to understand and remember things becomes weakened. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The fear of crime refers to the fear of being a victim of potential crimes. This fear often restricts normal daily activities and lowers the quality of life. For elderly people, fear of crime has a practical effect on their activities. Thus, the study of the fear of crime has been one of the important subjects in the victimization study. However, since there was no common agreement on the definition of the fear of crime among researchers, the methodological issues of measuring the fear of crime have been debated for decades. The methods that are most frequently used in measuring fear of rime are victimization surveys and interviews. These methods have inherent limitations of measuring fear of crime particularly with elderly people. This paper explores a new way of measuring fear of crime using a virtual environment from the behavioural aspects. The case study shows the research experiments with the elderly people who make a choice of routes in the virtual environment that replicates the Vancouver Chinatown. The experimental results suggest that this new method of measuring fear of crime using a virtual environment has many benefits particularly when it is used with elderly people. The limitations of this method and the future research are discussed.
    European Intelligence and Security Informatics Conference, EISIC 2011, Athens, Greece, September 12-14, 2011; 01/2011
Show more