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Attitudes and measurement error revisited: A reply to Johnson and Pattie

Attitudes and measurement error revisited: A reply to Johnson and Pattie
Attitudes and measurement error revisited: A reply to Johnson and Pattie
In a recent Note in this Journal, Johnston and Pattie 1 contend that they have discovered an ecological fallacy in the behaviour of the six-item scale 2 developed by Heath et al. to measure the ‘left–right’ political value dimension. 3 Using data from the first six waves of the British Household Panel Study (BHPS), they show that, while there is remarkable over-time stability in the factor structure of these questions at the aggregate level, when the consistency of individual responses to each item is considered, a very different picture emerges; around 50 per cent of the sample fail to select the same response alternative on successive waves and a third of respondents select a response alternative on the opposite side of the agree/disagree scale from one time to the next. Correlations between the same items over time of around 0.4, they argue, bear out a picture of massive longitudinal instability at the individual level.


0007-1234
691-698
Sturgis, Patrick
b9f6b40c-50d2-4117-805a-577b501d0b3c
Sturgis, Patrick
b9f6b40c-50d2-4117-805a-577b501d0b3c

Sturgis, Patrick (2002) Attitudes and measurement error revisited: A reply to Johnson and Pattie. British Journal of Political Science, 32 (4), 691-698. (doi:10.1017/S0007123402000285).

Record type: Article

Abstract

In a recent Note in this Journal, Johnston and Pattie 1 contend that they have discovered an ecological fallacy in the behaviour of the six-item scale 2 developed by Heath et al. to measure the ‘left–right’ political value dimension. 3 Using data from the first six waves of the British Household Panel Study (BHPS), they show that, while there is remarkable over-time stability in the factor structure of these questions at the aggregate level, when the consistency of individual responses to each item is considered, a very different picture emerges; around 50 per cent of the sample fail to select the same response alternative on successive waves and a third of respondents select a response alternative on the opposite side of the agree/disagree scale from one time to the next. Correlations between the same items over time of around 0.4, they argue, bear out a picture of massive longitudinal instability at the individual level.


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Published date: 2002

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Local EPrints ID: 80192
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/80192
ISSN: 0007-1234
PURE UUID: d14631f4-1fd8-4527-8d16-1032029b489b
ORCID for Patrick Sturgis: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-1180-3493

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Date deposited: 24 Mar 2010
Last modified: 15 Jan 2019 01:33

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Author: Patrick Sturgis ORCID iD

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