In its most basic form, attitude scaling requires that an individual agrees or disagrees with a statement or responds to a single question. For example, respondents on a political issue may be asked whether they agree or disagree with the following statements:
Each of the respondents selects either a positive response (agree) or a negative response (disagree) which most accurately describes his/her attitude towards the opinion. A person’s score is computed by summing up the number of questions he or she answers a certain way.
In the present context where the responses have been coded 1 and 0, a person who agrees with all the opinions makes a maximum score (3 here) on the scale and a person who disagrees with all opinions receives a score 0.
Because this type of self-rating scale merely classifies respondents into one of two categories, it has only the properties of a nominal scale.
Single Response Scale
Many people believe that attitudes vary along a continuum. Thus the purpose of an attitude scale is to find an individual’s position on a continuum of multiple choices.
When there are multiple options for the rater and only one response is sought, this scale can be employed. These options provide the respondents with more flexibility in the rating operation.
We can ensure more information if the categories are ordered according to a descriptive or evaluative dimension.
An example of this scale is as follows:
How frequently the Family Welfare Assistant visits you?
The responses to these questions are provided below:
Each of the respondents selects one response category which most accurately describes his or her opinion about the statement reflecting the concept (frequency of visits) being measured. The data obtained by this rating scale is ordinal in nature.
The above category scale is more sensitive and more informative than a scale with only two response categories. It is however to be noted that wording is an important factor in the usefulness of these scales.
Multiple Response Scale
This scale allows the rater to select one or several alternatives from among the multiple options. Here is an example:
|Check one or more of the following sources you consulted while designing your new apartment complex:|
Here too, a respondent’s total score is the summation of the scores he obtains in an interview of expressing his/her opinion.