Survey Scales

A Guide to Development, Analysis, and Reporting

Robert L. Johnson and Grant B. Morgan

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August 2, 2016
ISBN 9781462526970
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269 Pages
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August 3, 2016
ISBN 9781462526963
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Synthesizing the literature from the survey and measurement fields, this book explains how to develop closed-response survey scales that will accurately capture such constructs as attitudes, beliefs, or behaviors. It provides guidelines to help applied researchers or graduate students review existing scales for possible adoption or adaptation in a study; create their own conceptual framework for a scale; write checklists, true-false variations, and Likert-style items; design response scales; examine validity and reliability; conduct a factor analysis; and document the instrument development and its technical quality. Advice is given on constructing tables and graphs to report survey scale results. Concepts and procedures are illustrated with "Not This/But This" examples from multiple disciplines.

User-Friendly Features

Survey Scales is packed with helpful information and is easy to understand and navigate for specific issues. This is a great go-to guide for students, especially since it is reasonably priced.”

—Sean Kelly, PhD, Department of Administrative and Policy Studies, University of Pittsburgh School of Education


“Most texts on measurement and scale development focus on testing, with very little in the way of help for those constructing surveys, making this book an important contribution. I am particularly impressed by the very reader-friendly tone and the detailed discussions of all aspects of survey scale development, from the basics of writing items through the pilot testing of a survey. Practitioners and students alike will be able to pick up this book and immediately apply it to their own work. Survey Scales could serve as the primary text for a course devoted to survey or instrument design, and would be a very nice supplementary text for a general course on measurement.”

—Holmes Finch, PhD, George and Frances Ball Distinguished Professor of Educational Psychology, Ball State University


“The ubiquity of surveys in research and evaluation holds potential for poor practice and inaccurate findings. Johnson and Morgan have provided an intelligent and comprehensive guide that will strengthen the researcher's or evaluator's ability to choose, design, implement, and analyze surveys. The authors describe research-based strategies for survey development and include many examples. They offer clear and accessible guidance for the entire process, even when it comes to complex topics like establishing the quality of survey instruments.”

—Donna M. Mertens, PhD, Department of Education (Emeritus), Gallaudet University


“The book is clearly written and includes detailed, practical advice on everything from defining the conceptual framework of a survey and writing questions to exploratory factor analysis and reporting results. It succinctly answers questions that commonly arise in survey research, such as 'How many response categories should I use?' and 'Should I use a middle response category?' The authors are masterful at identifying and addressing critical aspects of survey research. This book will be of use to a wide range of researchers in the social sciences. It will prepare newcomers to survey research for high-quality data collection and sophisticated data analysis.”

—J. Patrick Meyer, PhD, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia


“One of the few books that provides a comprehensive description of the survey development process from beginning to end, with examples from various disciplines and a glossary of terms. The book addresses issues that researchers must be cognizant of when constructing a questionnaire or interpreting findings. This is a great resource for individuals learning about survey development for the first time, as well as those in need of a refresher.”

—Dorinda J. Gallant, PhD, Department of Educational Studies, The Ohio State University


“Presenting best practices in measurement and survey design, this handbook is a very helpful reference for students and practitioners conducting survey research. It guides readers through every step of survey development and provides thorough yet concise information on a large range of topics. The text is clearly organized, easy to read, and includes examples from a variety of fields.”

—Diana L. Mindrila, PhD, Department of Leadership, Research, and School Improvement, University of West Georgia

Table of Contents

1. Scales in Surveys

Introduction

An Overview of the Survey Scale Development Process

Attitudes, Knowledge, and Behaviors

Key Qualities of a Survey Scale: Reliability and Validity

Further Reading

Chapter Exercises

2. Adopting or Adapting an Existing Scale

Introduction

Reviewing Potential Instruments for Adoption or Adaptation

The Mental Measurements Yearbook: A Source for Reviews of Instruments

Plagiarism and Copyright Infringement

Further Reading

Chapter Exercises

3. Establishing a Framework for the Development of a Survey Scale

Introduction

Elements and Format

Functions of the Conceptual Framework in the Development of a Survey Scale

Construction of a Conceptual Framework

Further Reading

Chapter Exercises

4. Item-Writing Guidelines

Introduction

Addressing Relevance

Addressing Audience

Addressing Language

Addressing Item Structure

Addressing Conventions

Guidelines Specific to Item Type

Number of Items

Further Reading

Chapter Exercises

5. Development of Response Scales

Introduction

Length of the Item Response Scale

Numeric and Verbal Response Labels

The Questionable Middle Position

Further Reading

Chapter Exercises

6. Formatting and Reviewing

Introduction

Survey Format and Administration Method

Item Formats Specific to Administration Methods

Complete Reviews and a Pilot of the Survey Scale

Further Reading

Chapter Exercises

7. Analysis of Survey Scale Data

Introduction

Levels of Measurement

Frequencies

Measures of Central Tendency

Measures of Variability

Measures of Association

Obtaining Descriptive Statistics

Further Reading

Chapter Exercises

8. Investigating Scale Quality

Introduction

Field Testing

Response Distributions: Item Quality

Investigating Reliability

Investigating Validity

Further Reading

Chapter Exercises

9. Factor Analysis

Introduction

General Purposes and Processes Associated with Factor-Analytic Procedures

Testing Assumptions

Dimensionality

Extraction: Principal Axis Factoring

Determining the Number of Factors (Model Selection)

Rotation

How to Interpret Factor Solutions

Calculating Factor Scores

Sample Size

Steps after EFA

How to Obtain an EFA Model

Further Reading

Chapter Exercises

10. Documenting the Development of the Survey Scale

Introduction

Determining the Need for a Data Display

Developing Tables

Table Structure

Table Data

Developing Graphs

Structure of a Graph

Organization of Data in a Graph

Narrative about Table or Graph

Concluding Thoughts

Further Reading

Chapter Exercises

Appendix. Analysis of Data: Inferential Statistics

Introduction

Sampling

Inferential Statistics

Inferential Procedures

Nonparametric Inferential Statistics

Further Reading

Appendix Exercises

Sample Solutions to Chapter Exercises

Glossary of Key Terms

References

Author Index

Subject Index

About the Authors


About the Authors

Robert L. Johnson, PhD, is Professor in the Department of Educational Studies at the University of South Carolina. His research focuses on the ethics of classroom assessment practices and the scoring of performance assessments in the language arts and the visual and performing arts. He also writes about the teaching of program evaluation and involvement of stakeholders in evaluations. Dr. Johnson's research has been published in such journals as Applied Measurement in Education, Language Assessment Quarterly, Assessing Writing, Teaching and Teacher Education, Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education, and the American Journal of Evaluation. He teaches courses related to educational research, assessment, survey methodology, and program evaluation.

Grant B. Morgan, PhD, is Associate Professor in the Department of Educational Psychology at Baylor University. His primary methodological research focuses on latent variable models, classification, and psychometrics. His research has been published in such journals as Structural Equation Modeling,Computational Statistics and Data Analysis, Psychological Assessment, School Psychology Quarterly, Language Assessment Quarterly, and Quality and Quantity. Dr. Morgan has evaluation experience at the local, state, and federal levels, and has extensive experience developing and using survey scales. He teaches graduate-level courses covering latent variable models, item response theory, psychometric theory, measurement and evaluation, experimental design, and research methods.

Audience

Graduate students in education, psychology, social work, counseling, and allied or public health; applied researchers and evaluators.

Course Use

Will serve as a supplemental text in graduate-level courses in survey research or design, psychometrics, assessment, and evaluation, as well as master's thesis/dissertation courses.