Different Methods of Measuring Attitudes

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Attitude can be measured in several ways. Attitudes are revealed in the behaviour of an individual. So they can be measured by direct observation of overt behaviour of the individual this method, needless to point out has all the defects of observation. In addition to the difficult of experimentally creating a stimulated situation where on the behaviour can be observed.

     Distinguished techniques like error technique (Hammond, 1848) sentence completion technique (Karr, 1943), story and argument completion techniques (Murray and Margpm. 1945), pictorial techniques (Smith, 1954) can also be used to assess on individuals attitudes. The basis for the use of protective techniques to measure attitude is that attitudes can be inferred by one’s unconsciousness responses certain stimuli like photographs, cartoons, etc. This method’s to all the disadvantages of projective technique like, difficulty in administration scoring, low inter scores, reliability etc.

     The most common method of obtaining an estimate a Person’s attitude is through an attitude scale. In this technique, the individual is asked to exams this opinion on several controversial statements about the psychological object under consideration. The logic behind the use of opinion to measure attitude is that they will do about it. To the extent people’s actions correlated with the expressed opinion. We can naturally predict the former from the later, any single statement of opinion and any single action, however, will be extremely unreliable from the point of view of measurement. Further, though a Pearson’s particular actions cannot be predicted with high degree accuracy, one’s position on an attitude from expressed opinion is also subject to some limitations like faking of the response by the individual, where he tends to give socially acceptable responses there by concealing his real attitude. Nevertheless, this could be overcome in several ways like making the questionnaire anonymous, giving concealed statements etc. There are various methods of contracting attitudes scale some of them are:

·        Methods of equal appearing intervals (Thurstone, 1929)

·        Methods of grades dichotomists (Saffir,1937)

·        Methods of summated rating (Likert, (1937)

·        Scalogram analysis (Guttaman, 1944)

·        Scale discrimination technique (Edwards and Kilpatrick, 1948)

·        Unfolding technique (Combs, 1950)

·        Method of unfolding partial rank order (Banta, 1961)

·        Latent structure analysis (Lazarsfield, 1950) and

·        Semantic differential (Osgood et al., 1957)

Among these, the most well known procedures are:

1.Thurstone’s methods of equal appearing intervals

2. Likert’smethods of summated ratings.

      An overwhelming majority of scales have been developed by either of these techniques. According to Shaw and Wright (1967), this is probably a result of the greater complexity of the newer procedures.

    In this study, Likert’s (1932) method of summated ratings is used because it is for easier than Thurston’s method, but at the time yields scores very similar measure of attitude obtained by the two method was as high as 0.92 (Edwards and Henry, 1946 and Edwards, 1948).


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