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Survey Scales: A Guide to Development, Analysis, and Reporting

by Robert Johnson and Grant Morgan Guilford Publications
Pub Date:
Pbk 269 pages
AU$86.00 NZ$86.09
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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.


Pedagogical Features:

*End-of-chapter exercises with sample solutions, plus annotated suggestions for further reading.

*"Not This/But This" examples of poorly written and strong survey items.

*Chapter-opening overviews and within-chapter summaries. *Glossary of key concepts. *Appendix with examples of parametric and nonparametric procedures for group comparisons.

1. Scales in Surveys
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
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
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
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
Length of the Item Response Scale
Numeric and Verbal Response Labels
The Questionable Middle Position
Further Reading
Chapter Exercises
6. Formatting and Reviewing
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
Levels of Measurement
Measures of Central Tendency
Measures of Variability
Measures of Association
Obtaining Descriptive Statistics
Further Reading
Chapter Exercises
8. Investigating Scale Quality
Field Testing
Response Distributions: Item Quality
Investigating Reliability
Investigating Validity
Further Reading
Chapter Exercises
9. Factor Analysis
General Purposes and Processes Associated with Factor-Analytic Procedures
Testing Assumptions
Extraction: Principal Axis Factoring
Determining the Number of Factors (Model Selection)
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
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
Inferential Statistics
Inferential Procedures
Nonparametric Inferential Statistics
Further Reading
Appendix Exercises
Sample Solutions to Chapter Exercises
Glossary of Key Terms
Author Index
Subject Index
About the Authors

“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 Scalescould 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
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 Assistant 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.