Rating and Questionnaire Measure of Attitudes, Values, Interests, and Cognitions
This chapter presents a survey of a variety of instruments that share a focus on underlying cognitive structures or states. This includes, first, a set of instruments for assessing attitudes, values, and beliefs. These represent more or less stable cognitions and affective states that orient the individual to objects or events. Second, there are instruments designed for accessing specific cognitions. There is considerable overlap between this and the previous category, but the cognitive measures are somewhat unique in that they have emerged directly from cognitive-behavioral interventions. The third group of instruments include vocational interest inventories specifically designed for assessing attitudes and values relating to vocational choices.
Several general observations may be made about these measures. First, the distinctions among these three categories of measures is often a fine one. All are designed in one way or another to tap underlying cognitive states. Second, information about attitudes, values, and cognitions is also provided in many of the personality tests, interview schedules, and behavioral measures reviewed in previous chapters. Further, the lines among some of these categories are not always clear. For example, the Beck Depression Inventory fits as easily in the category of cognitive measures as it does personality tests where it is dealt with in this volume. Third, some of these attitudinal and cognitive measures are not as fully developed as standardized psychological measures as, for example, the personality tests. In some cases normative data are not available and in other cases only limited psychometric data are available. Nevertheless, these measures often have a role to play in assessing adolescents, and, when used with care, can make a useful contribution to those assessments.