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Investigating measurement equivalence of visual analogue scales and Likert-type scales in Internet-based personality questionnaires

Investigating measurement equivalence of visual analogue scales and Likert-type scales in Internet-based personality questionnaires

Behavior Research Methods 49(6): 2173-2181

ISSN/ISBN: 1554-351X

PMID: 28130728

DOI: 10.3758/s13428-016-0850-x

Visual analogue scales (VASs) have shown superior measurement qualities in comparison to traditional Likert-type response scales in previous studies. The present study expands the comparison of response scales to properties of Internet-based personality scales in a within-subjects design. A sample of 879 participants filled out an online questionnaire measuring Conscientiousness, Excitement Seeking, and Narcissism. The questionnaire contained all instruments in both answer scale versions in a counterbalanced design. Results show comparable reliabilities, means, and SDs for the VAS versions of the original scales, in comparison to Likert-type scales. To assess the validity of the measurements, age and gender were used as criteria, because all three constructs have shown non-zero correlations with age and gender in previous research. Both response scales showed a high overlap and the proposed relationships with age and gender. The associations were largely identical, with the exception of an increase in explained variance when predicting age from the VAS version of Excitement Seeking (B10 = 1318.95, ΔR(2) = .025). VASs showed similar properties to Likert-type response scales in most cases.

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Accession: 059883815

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