Method in Scale Construction

The use of scales as a means to quantify attributes is common in psychology, social science, and health studies. A typical way of constructing scales is by formulating a set of ordinal scaled items, assign scores to the corresponding ordinal categories, and add the scores as the scale value (so-called summated rating scale). Although elegant in its simplicity, summated rating scales have a number of disadvantages that invite for the serious consideration of alternative methods.

This course will discuss two alternatives, namely factor analytical models, and Item Response Theory. Students will receive theoretical background and will perform practical exercises on existing datasets using the statistical software package R.