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Theory of Attitude Measurement

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Edited by: Published: 2010
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Attitude can be defined as a tendency to react favorably, neutrally, or unfavorably toward a particular class of stimuli, such as a custom, institutional practice, or national group. There are two challenges a researcher faces when measuring an individual's attitude. First, an individual's attitude toward an object cannot be observed directly but must be inferred from observed behavior, such as responses to a questionnaire. And second, there is no inherent scale associated with the observed behavior. The goal of a scaling method is to define a continuum/scale in which to place stimuli and respondents. The purpose of this entry is to describe the Thurstonian scaling method of similar reactions/attributes described by Louis Leon Thurstone, in which the scale values for each statement represent the actual ...

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