The Measurement of Attitude


L. L. Thurstone and E. J. Chave

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The experiments described in this monograph have been conducted jointly by the two authors. The material for the scale and all the data were compiled by Mr. Chave who made all arrangements for conducting the experimental tests. He was also responsible for supervising the tabulation of the results and he has writ-ten chapter vi on "Further Studies of Validity." The chapters on measurement theory were written by Mr. Thurstone, who is also responsible for the statistical methods used.

We wish to acknowledge the assistance of instructors and students who have served as subjects for these experiments by filling in the various forms and by sorting the lists of statements of opinion in various ways. Dean Boucher made it possible to con-duct one form of the tests in a Freshman assembly in Mandel Hall and Mr. Fred Moore arranged for conducting a similar test at the Chicago Forum. Dean Shailer Mathews and Professor T. G. Soares placed at our disposal certain funds for the experimental and statistical work, and the Local Community Research Committee at the University of Chicago has also sponsored the project financially. Professor Faris has kindly consented to lot us reprint sections of an article in the American Journal of Sociology (January, 1928) which described the possibility of measuring attitude. The studies there described were begun under the auspices of the Institute for Juvenile Research. We also wish to express our appreciation of the competent statistical work of Miss Annette McBroom and Mr. C. W. Brown who have been responsible for the statistical work on this monograph.

We regard the present experiments as preliminary in character, and a second scale for measuring attitude toward the church is now in process of construction. It is hoped that it will be relatively free from the defects which we have found in the present

( vi) experimental scale. Our main contribution is probably in the idea of using the equally-often-noticed difference or, preferably, the discrimination error as a unit of measurement for the objective description of attitude and opinion.



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