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Self-reported attitude scales: current practice in adequate assessment of reliability, validity, and dimensionality


  • This research was supported by the Nanotechnology IPOP theme of Wageningen University, Wageningen, The Netherlands.

Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Lynn Frewer, School of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Development, Agriculture Building, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 7RU, United Kingdom. E-mail:


The development of methods to create self-reported attitude scales has lost momentum, in part because of increased research focused on implicit measures. This paper reviews 162 papers on methodological approaches applied to the validation and assessment of attitude scales. Assessment of methodological approaches applied indicates that neither reliability, validity, nor dimensionality assessments are consistently used according to standard operating procedures or in accordance with best practice. Within current practices in the field of attitude scale development, the full potential of self-report scales is not met, in part because of such methodological issues. The improvement of existing practices and adoption of promising new developments in attitude scale construction and evaluation are discussed, together with recommendations for best practice in scale validation.

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