Beginning Steps in
Developing an Attitude Instrument
- Review literature in the domain which you wish to
measure (i.e., "computer attitudes").
- Develop a list of categories (subscales [i.e.., constructs]) that you
wish to sample from the domain. The domain may be "Computer Attitudes" and the
categories (constructs) might be "Ease of Use of Computers" and "Usefulness in
- Write 8 to 10 items/statements (operational
definitions) for each category (i.e., "Computers will help students learn material
faster."). Avoid common survey pitfalls when writing
- Give the items to at least 5 experts for
classification (Content Validity). The panel of
experts will attempt to match the operational definitions with their appropriate
categories within the domain. The statements should be mixed (in other words, don't put all the statements about a given construct together).
- Develop an instrument with the successfully
classified items. Use a Likert scale to design your instrument.
You may wish to rewrite some of the items that were not successfully classified. You may remove some of the original items that the content experts found difficult to categorize..
- Field test the instrument (6 to 10 people per item on
the instrument) with the populations for which the instrument is being developed.
- Run a factor analysis (exploratory) on the field test
responses. More advanced students may wish to do a confirmatory factory analysis.
- Name each factor (category) based on the items which
loaded on it (>.40)
- Review whether each item conceptually belongs with
its factor (subscale) and remove those which do not.
- Run Cronbach's Alpha Reliability for each
factor/category (subscale) to investigate internal consistency reliability.
- Modify and retest the instrument if necessary
Del Siegle, Ph.D.
Neag School of Education - University of Connecticut