- A widely used technique for scaling attitudes . Respondents are presented with a number of items, some positively pharsed and some negatively phrased, which have been found to discriminate most clearly between extreme views on the subject of study. For example, in a study of popular perceptions of social justice, respondents might be presented with items such as ‘The distribution of income in the United States is unfair’, and ‘In our society everyone has an equalopportunity to obtain a good education’. They are asked to rate each item in terms of agreement. Typically, responses are scored using five-point bipolar categories (strongly agree, agree, neither agree nor disagree, disagree, strongly disagree), coded as 2,1,0, minus 1, and minus 2. These scores are aggregated to form ‘summated ratings’ or a ‘test score’; or may be intercorrelated and factor analysed , to form a numerical unidimensional scale.
Dictionary of sociology. 2013.