Doing Psychological Research: Gathering and Analysing Data

By Nicky Hayes | Go to book overview

6
Psychometrics

Attitude scales

Psychometric tests

Reliability, validity and standardisation

Ethical issues in attitude measurement and psychometrics

In the previous chapter, we looked at the use of questionnaires as a research tool. A questionnaire is a very general method of obtaining information from people, and, as we have seen, it can be quite useful in providing us with largely factual information about people's behaviours or habits. But when it comes to obtaining more subtle information about people, questionnaires are rather more limited.

Part of that limitation comes about because of response bias, in that people are conscious of the way that they are responding to a questionnaire, and generally try to make sure that their answers project the kind of image that they want to give. Another part of the reason is that some information about ourselves is just not open to our own conscious awareness. It can be brought out by the right kind of questioning, or deduced from patterns of responses, but it isn't open to direct self-reporting.

There are ways of obtaining much more detailed, or personal information using questionnaire-type instruments. But these instruments are very different from conventional questionnaires, and constructed in an entirely different way. They can be sorted, loosely, into two groups: attitude scales and psychometric tests. We will look at each of them in this chapter, beginning with attitude scales.


Attitude scales

Attitude measurement is a little more challenging than simply gathering information about someone's likes and dislikes, or their consumer choices. The main reason for this is that many people are not fully aware of their own attitudes, so they find it difficult to report them

What do these threeterms mean?response biasself-reportlie scale

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Doing Psychological Research: Gathering and Analysing Data
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • List of Figures ix
  • List of Tables xi
  • List of Worked Examples xiii
  • List of Formulae xiv
  • Introduction xv
  • Acknowledgements xix
  • 1: Approaches to Psychological Research 1
  • Part I - Gathering Data 15
  • 2: Gathering Data for Psychological Research 17
  • 3: Experiments 35
  • 4: Observational Studies 55
  • 5: questionnaire Studies 70
  • 6: Psychometrics 91
  • 7: Interviews 113
  • 8: Case Studies and Ethnography 131
  • 9: Analysing Documents 147
  • Part II - Making Sense of Data 165
  • 10: Introducing Qualitative Analysis 167
  • 11: Grounded Approaches to Qualitative Research 183
  • 12: Conversations, Discourse and Images 201
  • 13: Protocol Analysis and Other Techniques 220
  • 14: Introducing Quantitative Analysis 239
  • 15: Numbers as Descriptive Statistics 257
  • 16: Descriptive Statistics in Visual Images 278
  • 17: Two-Sample Tests 303
  • 18: Correlation and Regression 331
  • 19: Analysis of Variance 349
  • Glossary 366
  • Statistical Tables 379
  • References 387
  • Index 392
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