UNIT 6 ATTITUDE MEASUREMENT AND SCALES
Objectives After reading this unit, you should be able to : • • • • describe the type of managerial research problems which utilise the tools of attitude measurement; discuss the type of issues which come up when one attempts the measurement of attitudes; explain the different attitude measurement scales, alongwith their strengths and limitations; decide for which type of research problems one should go in for specific scale or think of using multidimensional scaling.
Attitude Measurement and Scales
Structure 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 6.7 6.8 6.9 6.10 6.11 6.12 6.13 6.14 6.15 6.16 Introduction Attitudes, Attributes and Beliefs Issues in Attitude ...view middle of the document...
The major area of utilisation of such data lies in the discipline of marketing where the-manager is interested in knowing the attitudes of the current and potential users of his/her product or service towards his/her product or service concept or idea. This knowledge of attitudes could result in decisions which would be sensible and effective. Some illustrations of managerial decisions which rely on attitude measurement are product positioning and market segmentation, advertising message decisions etc.
ATTITUDES, ATTRIBUTES AND BELIEFS
Before one plunges into the topic of attitude measurement, it will be worthwhile to understand the key terms which figure repeatedly in this topic.
Data Collection and Measurement
Each object/product/service is believed to be composed of certain characteristics which fulfil certain needs of its user. These needs may be of psychological, physical or social nature. The characteristics of the object under consideration are called its attributes. The term belief refers to judgements made by a user regarding the object possessing certain attributes or not. Finally, the term attitude refers to the predisposition/mental state of individuals/users towards a product/idea/attributes of an object. It also implies the mental readiness to act in a particular manner and influences the individuals's behaviour towards the object/group/organization/person under consideration. The salient factors that go into the building of the overall attitude of the individual towards the object are a) his/her beliefs about the attributes possessed by the object, b) his/her preference or otherwise for those attributes, and c) the relative importance of each attribute to the individual's decision making process.
ISSUES IN ATTITUDE MEASUREMENT
Measurement implies the process of obtaining information which can be subject to analysis. Attitude measurement relates to the process of measuring an individual's attitude towards an object. When we go for measurement of attitudes or any other parameter, one has to clearly sort out the following : • "what" has to be measured ? • "who" is to be measured ? • the accuracy desired in the measurement • the costs permissible • the choices available in the measurement/data collection techniques. In attitude measurement, the researcher is primarily interested in measuring the "state of mind" of the respondent (s). It may include factors such as awareness, attitudes and decision processes. An interesting characteristics of these measures is that their verification is rather difficult. There is no way to determine whether the answer given by a respondent to the level of liking for a new product, such as ice-cream mix, represents the "truth" or not. The researcher, unless he is a "telepathist", cannot actually observe the states of mind like preference, likes and dislikes, etc. Such things can only be inferred. It has been stated in the previous section, that attitudes are...