Principals of Modern Psychological Measurement: A Festschrift for Frederic M. Lord
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Some problems in estimating response time distributions. Statistical Methods in Reliability Jerald F. Evidence from auditory simple reaction times for both change and level detectors Stephen L. Burbeck , R. Duncan Luce.
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This indifference is remarkable, considering that measurement and theory "are inseparably bound in a logical sense" Bagozzi Theory development requires theory testing. More than a decade ago, Reeler and Ray observed that tests of existing theories in marketing and consumer behavior have been marred because they were not preceded by adequate measure validation.
Some authors have pointed to replication as a way to solve at least some of the measurement problems plaguing marketing and consumer research, including the prevailing "disregard" Ray , p. Consumer behaviorists, in particular, have been vocal in their call for replication Jacoby ; Brown and Coney ; Engel, Blackwell and Kollat , on the grounds that spurious conclusions hamper theory development. The name of the game is confidence in our findings" Jacoby , p. Replication lies at the heart of generalization of any body of knowledge Kollat, Engel and Blackwell Generalizability, in turn, is fundamental to theory's capability to predict phenomena.
Not all of the social sciences have been so neglect in building a foundation of replication and instrumentation. In contrast with marketing, psychology can boast a long tradition of measurement research. Indicative of this heritage is the science T S regular publishing of compendiums of measurement tools. The Eighth Mental Measurements Yearbook Buros , for example, is a lengthy, two-volume collection of measurement instruments covering a wide range of topics achievement batteries, multiple-aptitude batteries, personality, intelligence, education, etc. Other similar repositories for published tests and measurement tools exist in the field of psychology Straus and Brown , Johnson Compendiums like these serve to facilitate measurement validation, as well as other aspects of measurement research, via exact replication and related studies.
Scholars like Frederic M. Lord of the Educational Testing Service have devoted most of their lives to the study of mental tests Wainer and Messick, That is not to say, however, that these scholars have solved all the problems associated with psychological measurement, in particular the issue of measurement validation. The measurement of the psychological properties of individuals is a complicated affair, to be accomplished laboriously, and seldom, if ever, with the degree of precision desired" Ghiselli , p. Nevertheless, scholars in the field of psychology pursue this "broad problem area" Ghiselli , p.
Even a cursory review of the major psychology journals at any time would produce more than a handful of perfect and imperfect replications-tests of established measurement instruments, across time, various population groups and settings--designed to examine the validity of those tools e. Marketing and consumer behavior Journals are all but void of such examinations. Calls for replications, lamentations over the sorry state of measure validation in marketing, and suggestions with respect to how one can improve measurement validation appear more frequently in the marketing literature.
Psychometric procedures for developing better measures of marketing and consumer behavior constructs have been well described by Churchill and do not require restatement. Worthy of note, however, are two of the principles which underlie these procedures. One principle is that most measures of consumer behavior phenomena, and indeed the phenomena themselves, are seldom uni-dimensional.
This means that in developing standardized instruments, correspondence rules linking theoretical dimensions to test components and subscales must be clearly established. This can be done only if the theory is sufficiently explicit about the definition and domain of the construct. Care must also be taken not to segregate the conceptual stage of the research from its test Bagozzi The specification of theoretical constructs should include a measurement model, and it is this model which should be empirically tested.
The initial concern is usually to verify the factorial validity of the proposed measure, with convergent and discriminant validity being established later. Another principle is that measure validation cannot be accomplished in a single study. As in all research, apparent regularities involving measures and measurement items may be the result of chance or spurious relationships. There is also a need to establish that the measurement model holds across the full range of the underlying variables. If measures are found to behave differently when tested across time and across population groups, this suggests that either the measure is invalid or the concept, poorly understood.
It is possible that a measurement instrument taps different constructs when applied at different times or to different population groups. Thus, repeated tests of the factorial, convergent, and discriminant validity of tests need to be made.
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These two important principles are best illustrated with a specific example from the consumer behavior literature. First, the scale has not been finalized; Leonard-Barton admits potential scale shortcomings and has suggested a number of areas that may need improving. Thus, the current research shows the value of measurement research to the theory development process. Second, Leonard-Barton's scale represents only one of a number of ways that have been suggested to model voluntary simplicity VS Ensley Despite the potential value of this scale and other similar instruments, some scholars have questioned the validity of lifestyle concepts and measures in general Mehrota and Wells ; Wells ; Wells and Cosmas Lastovicka observed that while there is an "overabundance of lifestyle traits" , p , there have been few attempts in the literature to examine the validity of the proposed traits.
An examination of the scale ant the theoretical model it implies enables one to consider more closely the relationship between theory and research, specifically, the relationship between theoretical constructs and the tools that are supposed to measure them. The use of the VSL scale to explore the value of measurement validation to consumer research is appropriate also because the scale focuses on extremely dynamic characteristics of our society.
Marketers more often than not face the challenges of a fast-changing marketplace while conducting research. Finally, the development of not only a theory model to explain voluntary simplicity, but also a measurement tool scale to predict identify the lifestyle are potentially matters of great concern to marketers. An in-depth review of the VS literature is not required for the purposes of this paper.
Recent reviews Ensley , Leonard-Barton , Leonard-Barton and Rogers report agreement among scholars as to the building blocks of the lifestyle: material simplicity nonconsumption-orientation patterns of use ; human scale a desire for small-scale institutions and simpler technologies ; self-determination desire for greater control over personal destiny ; ecological awareness recognition of the interdependency of people and resources ; personal growth a desire to explore and develop the "inner life".
Scholars do not agree, however, about what comprises the best method for identifying voluntary simplifiers. The measurement tool which is the focus of this article, developed by Leonard-Barton , is essentially a behavioral scale.
Leonard-Barton maintains that while certain "humanistic values" are an important part of the concept, "as any student of human behavior knows, there is often a large gap between an attitude and an act. Behaviors are, therefore, probably better indicators of public support for a voluntary simplicity lifestyle than verbal responses to survey questions" p. The scale, which employs survey methodology, asks respondents to report the frequency with which they engage in behaviors that are "typical of self-proclaimed advocates of this scaled-down lifestyle and that were also suggested in literature on the topic.
Lastovicka has criticized the reliance of lifestyle research on self-report data as a "serious problem in lifestyle trait measurement" p. Another potential problem in the development of a behavioral scale that would be usable over time is the rate of diffusion of behaviors included in the scale.
Table l shows that the so-called VSL behaviors have diffused considerably in just a few years. While the percentage of respondents giving a positive response in each category increased as much as 47 percent, it is unlikely that the number of voluntary simplifiers has increased to the same extent. In short, the behaviors do not necessarily indicate VS. Leonard-Barton defends her approach, maintaining:. However, if an individual engages in many of the 18 behaviors. But Ensley asserts that VS "is essentially an attitude, and adherents emphasize that no particular behavior is required" p.
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The scale developed by Leonard-Barton , p. All three versions of the scale were factor analyzed; factors that emerged were reported by Leonard-Barton to be "quite robust" for all versions, across samples. Nevertheless, factors and traits are not the same. A factor is linked to a trait via a correspondence rule.
In the case at hand, Leonard-Barton has employed exploratory factor analysis to identify six dimensions which are given a trait-like interpretation. While Leonard-Barton does not specifically use the word "trait", her discussion of the factors is consistent with the accepted definition of traits as "generalized action tendencies" Allport , p.
Figure l shows the implied relationship between scale items, resultant factors, and VSL. Throughout the social sciences, there is growing recognition that the approach of exploratory factor analysis is seriously flawed.
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To quote Long , p. Leonard-Barton can be criticized for failing to integrate her conceptualization with the empirical test.
Figure 2 presents an alternative VSL model that is more theory-based. Behavioral constructs which comprise the alternative model are not the result of factor analysis, rather they are suggested by VSL theory as presented in the literature. According to this new conceptualization, individual ideas in the Leonard-Barton scale should be viewed as indicators of behavioral tendencies which are values driven. The undersampling of some behavioral constructs i. Despite the above-mentioned problems, Figures 1 and 9 provide competing motels or hypotheses concerning the structure of VSL.
These models were compared, insofar as data would permit, in terms of their ability to account for the observed inter-item correlations in new data.