The Measurement of Attitudes

Authored by: Jon A. Krosnick , Charles M. Judd , Bernd Wittenbrink

The Handbook of Attitudes

Print publication date:  April  2005
Online publication date:  April  2014

Print ISBN: 9780805844924
eBook ISBN: 9781410612823
Adobe ISBN: 9781135626174


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Attitude measurement is pervasive. Social psychologists routinely measure attitudes when studying their causes (e.g., Fishbein & Ajzen, 1975; Tesser, Whitaker, Martin, & Ward, 1998; Zajonc, 1968), how they change (e.g., Festinger, 1957; Hovland. Janis, & Kelley, 1953; Petty & Cacioppo, 1986) and their impact on cognition and behavior (e.g., Lord, Ross, & Lepper, 1979). Attitude measurement is also frequently done by political scientists, sociologists, economists, and other academics. Commercial market researchers are constantly engaged in measuring attitudes toward real and imagined consumer products and services. Beginning in the 1990s, all agencies of the U.S. federal government initiated surveys to measure attitudes toward the services they provided. And the news media regularly conduct and report surveys assessing public attitudes toward a wide range of objects. One of the most consequential examples is the routine measurement of Americans' approval of their president.

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