Negroes and the New Southern Politics

By Donald R. Matthews; James W. Prothro | Go to book overview

APPENDIX C
Scales and Indexes

We have used a number of statistical measures of social, psychological, and political phenomena in this book. In this appendix we discuss the construction of these measures, in the order in which they appear in the text.


POLITICAL PARTICIPATION SCALE

The PPS is a Guttman-type, cumulative scale of political participation constructed, for white respondents, from questions 1, 2a, 2c, 2e, 3, 4, 9 on political discussions; 27 on voting; 6, 7, 8 on campaign participation; and 5, 5a, 11, 11a on officeholding and political memberships. The comparable questions for Negro respondents are 1, 2a, 2c, 2f, 3, 4, 9; 30; 6, 7, 8; and 5, 5a, 11, 11a.

Respondents were dichotomized into those who had ever engaged in any of these activities and those who had not. The percentages of the Negro and white southwide samples with positive responses on each item were as follows:

Negro White
Talked politics 86.9% 88.5%
Voted 41.3 85.6
Campaigned 34.2 44.7
Held office or belonged
  to political group
11.8 4.8

There is no general agreement about what constitutes a satisfactory cumulative scale. Guttman has proposed a Coefficient of Reproducibility (CR), which is merely the proportion of all responses falling into "pure" scale pat

-523-

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