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Scale Development: Theory and Applications (Applied Social Research Methods) Paperback – 20 Jul 2011

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Product details

  • Paperback: 216 pages
  • Publisher: SAGE Publications, Inc; Third Edition edition (20 July 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1412980445
  • ISBN-13: 978-1412980449
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 14 x 22.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 221,744 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

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Review

“Scale Development is readable, concise, and affordable. Students like the book. It presents formulas but doesn’t emphasize them but rather emphasizes utility, and the book is well-suited for an audience with applied interests.” (Kathy E. Green)

"The key strength of this text is its ability to present the basic and necessary background on scale construction and measurement for the subsequent material, either in the context of the same first-year graduate course or in future courses during a masters and PhD program.” (René Bautista)

“The author has a very nice writing style that makes reasonably complicated technical concepts clear to students who are accessing them for the first time.” (Catherine Horn)

“This book does an excellent job in explaining complicated topics in test construction at a level that students can understand. The use of specific examples that demonstrate key points is very effective.” (Jonathan Feldman)

About the Author

Robert F. DeVellis is Research Professor in the Department of Health Behavior and Health Education (School of Public Health), and the Psychology Department (College of Arts and Sciences) at the University of North Carolinaat Chapel Hill. In addition, he is a Core Faculty Member for UNC's Robert Wood Johnson Clinical ScholarsProgram (School of Medicine). Dr. DeVellis is also Director of the Measurement and Methods Core of the UNCCenter on Minority Aging and Associate Director of the UNC Arthritis Multidisciplinary Clinical Research Center,where he also is a member of that center's Methodology Core. He has served on the Board of Directors for theAmerican Psychological Association's Division of Health Psychology (38), on the Arthritis Foundations'Clinical/Outcomes/therapeutics Research Study Section, and on the Advisory Board of the Veterans AffairsMeasurement Excellence Initiative. He has served on the editorial boards of Arthritis Care and Research and HealthEducation Research and as Guest Editor, Guest Associate Editor, or reviewer for more than two dozen otherjournals. His current research interests include examining interpersonal factors that facilitate adaptation to chronicillness and measuring social and behavioral variables related to health and illness. He has served as PrincipalInvestigator or Co-Investigator since the early 1980s on a series of research projects funded by the federalgovernment and private foundations.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By John M. Ford TOP 500 REVIEWER on 2 Jun. 2011
Format: Paperback
My colleague Doug recently completed a research study on the level of engagement in the Federal workforce. He used data from a 2005 governmentwide survey of nearly 37,000 Federal employees. Although Doug has a solid background in Federal employment issues like employee engagement, this was the first time he used a group of survey questions to create and analyze a measurement scale. This book is one of the resources Doug used to make his project a success.

Robert DeVellis's book covers the fundamentals of social science scale development in a straightforward manner. This book explains basic measurement concepts clearly and contains sufficient practical guidance to support construction of a working scale. The reader will need to obtain access to a statistical program and instruction in its use from another source.

Chapter 1 briefly reviews the history of social science measurement, including the role played by statistics and psychophysics. A discussion of the relationship between theory and measurement includes the risks of careless measurement practice. It ends on page 13 with a useful one-paragraph preview of the remaining seven chapters. Chapter 2 defines the relationship between constructs and the measures that allow us to observe them. It introduces path diagrams and outlines the assumptions of classical measurement theory. Chapter 3 defines measurement reliability and introduces coefficient alpha as a measure of the internal consistency of a scale. More advanced reliability topics are outlined with some reference to formulas and covariance matrices.

The next two chapters are the book's core. Chapter 4 defines content, criterion-related, construct and face validity and distinguishes between validity and accuracy.
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By James Tighe on 10 Mar. 2013
Format: Paperback
Takes you through the process from start to finish. Makes the technical accessible. Incorporates the theory but only in the context of practice. If you are trying to go beyond simple survey questions and actually measure something validly and reliably then it is a must have.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 29 reviews
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
A easy reading monograph in scale development 9 May 2002
By Vong Tze Ngai - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
It's a worth reading for those who wishes to know more about scale development. Chapters on "Reliability" and "Validity" are a bit too brief, I dare say. On the other hand, Chapter 5 provides really easy to follow, step by step instructions in building a scale. Readers following through these instructions shouldn't find difficulty constucting their own scales! Perhaps, for those who wishes to know more about issues concerning scale reliability and validity, they may refer to Spector's "Summated Rating Scale Construction (A Sage publication).
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Nice, practical overview of the scale construction process 3 Oct. 2004
By A. Tiwana - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you've never developed scales for survey research before, this is probably one of the most readable and actionable books describing the process step by step. Browse through it in your local library before you buy a copy. Highly recommended.

May 2013 Update:
---------------
Chapter 5 has a concise step-by-step summary of the entire scale development process. This is a very applied book and not intended for readers more interested in psychometric theory that its application. I'd still recommend this book over any competing title. If you got a cheaper copy on an older edition of this book, you'd not be missing anything critical.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Solid Help for First-Time Scale Developers 9 Oct. 2008
By John M. Ford - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My colleague Doug recently completed a research study on the level of engagement in the Federal workforce. He used data from a 2005 governmentwide survey of nearly 37,000 Federal employees. Although Doug has a solid background in Federal employment issues like employee engagement, this was the first time he used a group of survey questions to create and analyze a measurement scale. This book is one of the resources Doug used to make his project a success.

Robert DeVellis's book covers the fundamentals of social science scale development in a straightforward manner. This book explains basic measurement concepts clearly and contains sufficient practical guidance to support construction of a working scale. The reader will need to obtain access to a statistical program and instruction in its use from another source.

Chapter 1 briefly reviews the history of social science measurement, including the role played by statistics and psychophysics. A discussion of the relationship between theory and measurement includes the risks of careless measurement practice. It ends on page 13 with a useful one-paragraph preview of the remaining seven chapters. Chapter 2 defines the relationship between constructs and the measures that allow us to observe them. It introduces path diagrams and outlines the assumptions of classical measurement theory. Chapter 3 defines measurement reliability and introduces coefficient alpha as a measure of the internal consistency of a scale. More advanced reliability topics are outlined with some reference to formulas and covariance matrices.

The next two chapters are the book's core. Chapter 4 defines content, criterion-related, construct and face validity and distinguishes between validity and accuracy. The discussion of validity coefficients and multi-method multi-trait approaches to studying validity equip the reader to understand validity studies in the measurement literature. Chapter 5 lays out an eight-step process for developing a scale of questions to measure some construct of the reader's choice. These steps are (slightly reworded):

- 1. Define clearly what you want to measure.
- 2. Create a set of draft questions.
- 3. Select a common format and set of answer options for the questions.
- 4. Have experts review and revise the questions.
- 5. Consider using "social desirability" or similar questions.
- 6. Field test the questions with "real people."
- 7. Analyze the results of your field test.
- 8. Decide how many questions--and which questions--to keep.

The real value in this book is the practical guidance given for each of these steps. There is enough here to get you through your first project, but not so much that it overwhelms.

Chapter 6 introduces factor analysis as a statistical procedure that helps scale developers understand how their scale works, particularly if there are two or three different things that the scale is measuring. The author does an excellent job explaining the concepts of factor analysis, how to select the right kind of analysis, and how to interpret the results without becoming mired in unnecessary technical detail. Chapter 7 is a similarly elegant treatment of item response theory. The reader is convinced that scale items each have a certain difficulty for test takers and a certain ability to discriminate between groups of test takers. The chapter explains these and related concepts sufficiently to illustrate their usefulness, leaving interested readers to learn more in one of the cited references. The final chapter encourages readers to take a broad, contextual view of measurement and sends them on their way to develop their scales.

Other sources are a better choice if you need a deeply technical reference about measurement (Psychometric Theory), factor analysis (Latent Variable Models and Factor Analysis), or item response theory (Item Response Theory for Psychologists). If you are developing your first scale--like Doug--or if you are often asked "How do I make a scale to measure this?" then you want this book close at hand.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Very helpful resource 24 Aug. 2005
By tanner - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This short volume is an excellent overview of how to create scales and indexes from survey items. The author assumes familiarity with the concepts behind reliability and validity, so the book is best used a supplement to an already developed measurement foundation. I highly recommend adding this to your reference library, I am sure you will refer to it throughout your career.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
clear but a little simplistic 16 Mar. 2006
By R. Rogge - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This is a nice resource for researchers completely unfamiliar with the process of measure development. The biggest limitation of the book is that it falls short in actually presenting equations for the statistics mentioned. Thus, it is a good place to start if you have little exposure to this process. However, if you plan on actually running a series of studies to create a new measure, then you'll want to augment this book with some real statistics books.
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