Guttman scaling, also called the cumulative scaling/ scalogram analysis is perhaps the most common scaling technique currently in social research. It’s a method that uses empirical intensity structure amongst numerous indicators of a given variable (Babbie, 2010). The rationale behind Guttman scaling is to set up a single-dimensional continuum regarding a concept that is to be measured. This essentially means that the items or statements are set in such a manner that the respondents, who are in agreement with any particular question within the list, will as well concur with all the preceding questions. For instance, in a cumulative scale containing ten items, a respondent’s score of four is an indication that he or she agreed with the initial four items. Basically, the objective of this type of scaling is to establish a set of items, which matches the cumulative pattern perfectly. This paper discusses questionnaire items that are used to measure the attitudes of people towards nuclear power, and can form a Guttman scale.
Nuclear power is defined as the utilization of sustained nuclear fission for the generation of electricity and heat. Nuclear power plants offer nearly six percent and fourteen percent of the world’s energy and electricity respectively. Despite the benefits of nuclear power, there has been a controversy surrounding its adoption as a major source of electricity provision, with some people supporting the idea, while others strongly rejecting it.
Consequently, various people around the world have diverse attitudes with regards to nuclear power use. Measuring the attitudes of people on nuclear power necessitates the construction of questionnaires with various questions/ items regarding the topic.
Some of the items that can form the Guttman scale regarding attitudes on nuclear power include the following; nuclear power should be adopted as a reliable and major source of generating electricity; the advantages of using nuclear power to generate electricity far outweigh the risks involved; the number of nuclear power plants should be increased; and I support the use of nuclear power.
In conclusion, Guttman scaling is a scaling technique that uses empirical intensity structure amongst numerous indicators of a given variable. It seeks to establish a set of items regarding a particular topic such that the respondents, who agree with any particular question within the list, also concurs with all the preceding questions. An example of questionnaire item that can form the Guttman scale is the fact that the advantages of using nuclear power to generate electricity outweigh the risks involved.
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