Exercise 2: Reliability and Validity
For this exercise, your task is to estimate the reliability and validity of a measure of Need for Cognition (nCog; Cacioppo & Petty, 1982; Cacioppo, Petty, & Kao, 1984).
An SPSS data file is included in the assignment folder, with responses from 294 college students. Within the data file you will find raw scores for nCog items, as well as composite scores for several other variables (see page 2 for descriptions).
Your tasks for this assignment are described below. To answer each of these questions, run the analyses using SPSS and report relevant information in your write-up (i.e., the reliability or validity coefficient). Write a report explaining your findings for each of the questions above. Provide an interpretation of what the results mean. In other words, explain your findings in sufficient detail so that another person could understand what you examined and why.
Variables in Data Set/Assignment
Need for Cognition –described as a drive to understand situations and the world around us (Cacioppo & Petty, 1982; Cacioppo et al., 1984). People with a high need for cognition tend to enjoy problem solving, abstract reasoning, and enjoy complex situations/problems. Items were rated on a 5-point scale (1 = Strongly Disagree to 5 = Strongly Agree), and higher scores indicate higher levels of the construct. Items were taken from Cacioppo et al. (1984), in the attached article. Note that several of these items are reverse-scored. You will need to re-code them prior to running the analyses.
High School GPA – is cumulative, high school grade point average, on a 4.0 scale. Scores were taken from admissions records.
ACT Scores – ACT scores were gathered from university records.
College GPA – is cumulative, college grade point average on a 4.0 scale. This was taken from university records. In this study College GPA was collected one year after Need for Cognition was measured.
Student Satisfaction – is the extent that students are satisfied with their experiences at the university. Six items were written for the purpose of conducting this study. Cronbach’s alpha for this scale was .90. In this study student satisfaction was collected one year after Need for Cognition was measured.
Academic Motivation focuses on the reasons that students go to college. This is based on Deci and Ryan’s (1985) self-determination theory (Ryan & Deci, 2000). For the purposes of this data collection ten items were written to measure intrinsic motivation and ten items were written to measure extrinsic motivation.
Goal Orientation – reflects the purpose, or type of goal that a person aims to achieve when pursuing a particular task (Elliot et al., 1999). This can be composed of mastery goal orientation, performance approach goal orientation, and performance avoid goal orientation. Seven items were written to measure each of the three dimensions below.
Social Desirability – involves providing what would be perceived as favorable, or socially desirable, responses (Crowne & Marlowe, 1960). The KR20 internal consistency estimate for this scale was .87.
Cacioppo, J. T., & Petty, R. E. (1982). The need for cognition. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 42, 116-131.
Cacioppo, J. T., Petty, R. E., & Kao, C. F. (1984). The efficient assessment of need for cognition. Journal of Personality Assessment, 3, 306-307.
Crowne, D.P., & Marlowe, D. (1960). A new scale of social desirability independent of psychopathology. Journal of Consulting Psychology, 24, 349–354.
Deci, E. L., & Ryan, R. M. (1985). Intrinsic motivation and self-determination in human behavior. New York, NY: Plenum.
Elliott, A. J., McGregor, H. A., & Gable, S. (1999). Achievement goals, study strategies, and exam performance: A mediational analysis. Journal of Educational Psychology, 91, 549-563.
Ryan, R. M., & Deci, E. L. (2000). Self-determination theory and the facilitation of intrinsic motivation, social development, and well-being. American Psychologist, 55, 68-78.
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