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Scale Development

Scale Development
Theory and Applications

Fourth Edition

March 2016 | 280 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
In the Fourth Edition of Scale Development, Robert F. DeVellis demystifies measurement by emphasizing a logical rather than strictly mathematical understanding of concepts. The text supports readers in comprehending newer approaches to measurement, comparing them to classical approaches, and grasping more clearly the relative merits of each. This edition addresses new topics pertinent to modern measurement approaches and includes additional exercises and topics for class discussion.

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1. Overview
General Perspectives on Measurement

Historical Origins of Measurement in Social Science

Later Developments in Measurement

The Role of Measurement in the Social Sciences

Summary and Preview


2. Understanding the Latent Variable
Constructs versus Measures

Latent Variable as the Presumed Cause of Item Values

Path Diagrams

Further Elaboration of the Measurement Model

Parallel Tests

Alternative Models



3. Reliability
Methods Based on the Analysis of Variance

Continuous versus Dichotomous Items

Internal Consistency

Reliability Based on Correlations Between Scale Scores

Reliability and Statistical Power

Generalizability Theory




4. Validity
Content Validity

Criterion-Related Validity

Construct Validity


5. Guidelines in Scale Development
Step 1: Determine Clearly What it is You Want to Measure

Step 2: Generate an Item Pool

Step 3: Determine the Format for Measurement

Step 4: Have Initial Item Pool Reviewed by Experts

Step 5: Consider Inclusion of Validation Items

Step 6: Administer Items to a Development Sample

Step 7: Evaluate the Items

Step 8: Optimize Scale Length



6. Factor Analysis
Overview of Factor Analysis

Conceptual Description of Factor Analysis

Bifactor and Hierarchical Factor Models

Interpreting Factors

Principle Components versus Common Factors

Confirmatory Factor Analysis

Using Factor Analysis in Scale Development

Sample Size



7. An Overview of Item Response Theory
Item Difficulty

Item Discrimination

Guessing, or False Positives

Item-Characteristic Curves

IRT Applied to Multiresponse Items



8. Measurement in the Broader Research Context
Before Scale Development

After Scale Administration

Final Thoughts



“This is the foremost text on scale development for both the experienced and novice researcher alike.”

Richard Conti
Kean University

“The Fourth Edition captures the recent development in measurement (e.g., alternatives to Alpha, bifactor model, hierarchical factor model, and available tools in R) by explaining concepts using accessible languages and examples.”

Shuyan Sun
University of Maryland

“The Fourth Edition of Scale Development incorporates practical examples and exercises to aid in student learning and understanding the fundamentals of measurement. The text continues to be a go-to resource for scholars and students alike.” 

Stephen W. Dittmore
University of Arkansas


“The key strength of this text is its ability to present the basic and necessary background on scale construction and measurement for the subsequent material, either in the context of the same first-year graduate course or in future courses during a masters and PhD program.”

René Bautista
University of Nebraska – Lincoln

“This book does an excellent job in explaining complicated topics in test construction at a level that students can understand. The use of specific examples that demonstrate key points is very effective.”

Jonathan Feldman, Yeshiva University
Yeshiva University

Great organization of the flow in the text!

John Kennedy
Grad Counseling Program, Trevecca Nazarene University
August 18, 2020

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1

Chapter 6

Robert F. DeVellis

Robert F. DeVellis is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Health Behavior (Gillings School of Global Public Health) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr. DeVellis has more than 40 years of experience in the measurement of psychological and social variables. He served as the first domain chair for Social Outcomes of the Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS) consortium, a multisite National Institutes of Health (NIH) Roadmap initiative directed at identifying, modifying, testing, and disseminating outcome measures for use by NIH investigators. He has served on the Board of Directors for the... More About Author

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ISBN: 9781506341569