Attitude Measurement

Researchers from a variety of disciplines use survey questionnaires to measure attitudes. For example, political scientists study how people evaluate policy alternatives or political actors. Sociologists study how one's attitudes toward a social group are influenced by one's personal background. Several different methods, including multi-item measures, are used to measure attitudes.

Question Format

People hold attitudes toward particular things, or attitude objects. In question format, an attitude object is presented as the stimulus in an attitude question, and respondents are asked to respond to this stimulus. Consider the following question:

Do you approve, disapprove, or neither approve nor disapprove of the way the president is handling his job?

The attitude object in this question is the president's handling of his job. The respondents must consider what they know about ...

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