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Scaling unobservable constructs in social science

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The use of the logit–probit model for constructing social measurement scales is explored by using two data sets. The first was specifically designed for scaling and consists of answers by 1490 individuals to five questions on economic self-determination. The second is from the Workplace Industrial Relations Survey and relates to answers to six questions addressed to 1005 firms about innovations. It is shown that although scales can be constructed their precision (reliability) is likely to be low. Further, for examples like these, latent class models may give an equally satisfactory account of the data.

Keywords: Attitude scaling; Factor analysis; Latent class models; Latent trait models; Latent variable models; Logit–probit model; Measurement

Document Type: Original Article


Affiliations: London School of Economics and Political Science, UK

Publication date: January 1, 1998


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