PhD Elisa Chami-Castaldi_Measurement Properties of Respondent-Defined Rating-Scales

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Published on January 12, 2014

Author: elisachami



An Investigation of Individual Characteristics and
Respondent Choices

It is critical for researchers to be confident of the quality of survey data. Problems with
data quality often relate to measurement method design, through choices made by
researchers in their creation of standardised measurement instruments. This is known to
affect the way respondents interpret and respond to these instruments, and can result in
substantial measurement error. Current methods for removing measurement error are
post-hoc and have been shown to be problematic. This research proposes that
innovations can be made through the creation of measurement methods that take
respondents’ individual cognitions into consideration, to reduce measurement error in
survey data. Specifically, the aim of the study was to develop and test a measurement
instrument capable of having respondents individualise their own rating-scales. A mixed
methodology was employed. The qualitative phase provided insights that led to the
development of the Individualised Rating-Scale Procedure (IRSP). This electronic
measurement method was then tested in a large multi-group experimental study, where
its measurement properties were compared to those of Likert-Type Rating-Scales
(LTRSs). The survey included pre-validated psychometric constructs which provided a
baseline for comparing the methods, as well as to explore whether certain individual
characteristics are linked to respondent choices. Structural equation modelling was used
to analyse the survey data. Whilst no strong associations were found between individual
characteristics and respondent choices, the results demonstrated that the IRSP is reliable
and valid. This study has produced a dynamic measurement instrument that
accommodates individual-level differences, not addressed by typical fixed rating-scales.

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