Thursday, September 23, 2010

Attitude Survey (PSY475)

Attitude Survey
The measure of attitudes is of great importance in a consumer driven economy, such as the one that exists in the United States today. Psychologists use attitude surveys to translate subjective attitudes of people into empirical data. Attitudes themselves are distinguishable from interests and personality traits, in that attitudes are usually attached to an object (Hogan, 2007). The construct of attitude actually encompasses the cognitive, affective, and behavioral thoughts, feelings, and actions that a person exhibits in reaction to—or as a result of—an object. For the purposes of this paper I designed an attitude survey using a selected-response format that is built upon the precepts of the SERVQUAL approach to attitude assessment. The purpose of the survey is to assess the attitudes and perceptions that University of Phoenix (UOP) students exhibit at graduation about UOP itself. The intention of this paper is to discuss the design, administration, scoring, and interpretation of the survey as well as any issues I experienced while creating the survey.
Design
The target audience for this survey is UOP graduates that attended at least their sophomore and senior college years at UOP. The particular trait to be measured is the attitude that graduating students hold towards UOP after graduations. The survey should be administered electronically via the UOP student login page after graduation. There are 11 items in the survey and should take no more than 1-2 minutes to complete. I did this on purpose, because I know from experience that I hate taking long surveys when all I really wanted to do was log into UOP online. The survey uses the Likert scale to measure attitude, with the possible answers of strongly disagree, disagree, neutral, agree, strongly agree with the corresponding scores of -2, -1, 0, +1, and +2, respectively. The score report is used to compile the individual scores into a descriptive format. The item stems are the assertions themselves and the responses are gauged through the Likert scale, otherwise known as the method of summated ratings (Hogan, 2007). The basic proposition of the Likert scale is that one attitudinal construct is at the basis of all of the items. All of the statements that I proposed are about the attitude of the graduate toward UOP and therefore addresses this concern.
Administration, Scoring, and Interpretation
The survey should be administered by UOP personnel and not the teachers. It would not do for the results of the survey to be skewed by the last class experience. This factor cannot be done away with entirely, but it can be minimized by having the survey administered by UOP personnel rather than a teacher. Moreover, in a general sense the lower the score the less the satisfaction and the higher the score the lower the satisfaction. The directionality of the scores are all in the same direction, meaning that a rating of strongly disagree always corresponds to a more unfavorable attitude toward UOP. However, it is important that the survey items be tried out on a large variety of students at UOP and the scores tabulated in advance. These scores will act as a means to convert the raw scores that will be collected when the test is actually distributed on a large scale to normed scores, which are more useful for interpretation. For instance, if there is universal tendency to score one item extremely negative, then the raw scores of the actual test can be mediated to take into account this propensity. For the purposes of a general attitude survey negative scores reflect negative perceptions and thoughts about UOP and positive scores the opposite.
Issues Experienced While Creating Survey
The SERVQUAL approach to attitude surveys is specifically designed for quantifying service quality and product satisfaction in the retail industry (Gob, 2007). As the SERVQUAL approach applies to this attitude survey, the main point of any survey is to ascertain the examinees expectations, perceptions and the gap between them. Therefore, I tried to design items to measure both the expectations of the UOP student as well as their perception of the item in question. This will increase the validity of the interpretation that lower scores equal less satisfaction and vice versa, since the items not only deal with the student’s actual perception, but their expectations as well. I also tried to encompass the entire spectrum of measurements—cognitive, affective, and behavioral—when considering the items to be administered. I am not comfortable with simple self-reported tests. They seem too subjective and too circumstantial. The items should gauge observable behavior, past feelings, and current thoughts about the construct being measured.
Conclusion
In sum, the attitude survey that I created follows the Likert scale method to gauge the overall satisfaction of UOP students, with an emphasis on both the perception and expectation of the items. The survey also attempts to measure the cognitive, affective, and behavioral components of the construct being tested. The purpose of the survey was to ascertain the general attitude that UOP students have toward the University of Phoenix at graduation.
References
Gob, R. (2007). Ordinal methodology in the analysis of Likert scales. Quality & Quantity, 41(5),601-626. Retrieved July 24, 2010, from SocINDEX with Full Text database.
Hogan, T.P. (2007). Psychological testing: A practical introduction (2nd ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

Here is a link to the Survey and Score Report that I based the paper on!

4 comments:

sample said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dick said...

I am in this class now at the UOP, and I am having a very hard time coming up with something to do a survey on, not even talking yet about the questons that are involved for whatever subject I come up with...How did you come up with your subject? what was your driving force? this is due in 4 days, and I am completly lost

Coy Stoker said...

Dick,

It is paramount that you distinguish attitudes from interests and personality traits. Attitudes are always attached to an object and interests and personality traits are attached to abstract cognitions or thoughts. So, we must measure what we think about an objective things: the President, butter, dogs, etc… Furthermore, we need to specify exactly what dimension of attitude we are measuring for that object: In the case of the President it would be our attitude about how his foreign policy has effected world peace. Last we must specify an exact audience for which the attitude survey is intended: in the case of the President we could sample black, middle aged men, in New England. So here are some other ideas as well:

1. How gas prices effect our attitudes about buying cars
a. Object: gasoline
b. Dimension: how the price of gasoline effects our car buying tendencies
c. Exact Audience: people who drive cars regularly, pay for their own gasoline, and are in the market to buy a new car
2. How the internet has changed the consumer experience
a. Object: online buying
b. Dimension: how online buying has changed the way in which we think about and behave towards buying merchandise
c. Exact Audience: people who previously bought from brick and mortar retail locations and now buy online

There are 3 good ideas. Take one and go with it. Just remember to follow the guidelines of one of the attitude survey designs in the textbook. They count off if you don’t. Like I used the SERVQUAL approach in the selected-response format. Good luck and I hope this helps. If you ever need help again just write. This took me all of 30 seconds to type out. If I can help in the future, I will. Have a great day!

PS In the future just email me at stokercg2913@gmail.com

sonia said...

hey i am currently in this class do i need another paper like a survey besides the essay