SAGE Journal Articles

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Journal Article Link 8.1: Ogden, J., & Lo, J. (2011). How meaningful are data from Likert scales? An evaluation of how ratings are made and the role of the response shift in the socially disadvantaged. Journal of Health Psychology17(3), 350–361.

Abstract: Likert scales relating to quality of life were completed by the homeless (N = 75); first year students (N = 301) and a town population (N = 72). Participants also completed free text questions. The scale and free text data were often contradictory and the results highlighted three processes to account for these disparities: (1) frame of reference: current salient issues influenced how questions were interpreted, (2) within-subject comparisons: ratings were based on expectations given past experiences, (3) time frame: those with more stable circumstances showed habituation to their level of deprivation. Likert scale data should be understood within the context of how ratings are made.

  1. What types of survey items did the researchers use?
  2. Why did the researchers use this type?
  3. What were the advantages? Disadvantages?
  4. Which survey item type do you think provides richer data? Why?

Journal Article Link 8.2: McHugh, R. M., Horner, C. G., Colditz, J. B., & Wallace, T. L. (2012). Bridges and barriers: Adolescent perceptions of student–teacher relationshipsUrban Education48(1), 9–43.

Abstract: In urban secondary schools where underpreparation and dropping out are real world concerns, students understand that their relationships with teachers affect their learning. Using descriptive coding and thematic analysis of focus group data, we explore adolescents’ perceptions of the bridges that foster and the barriers that inhibit supportive relationships with teachers, and the boundary expectations that function as both. The characteristics of supportive student–teacher relationships identified by youth participants suggest a number of teacher practices capable of meeting adolescents’ developmental needs and, as such, are likely to positively influence adolescents’ developmental and academic trajectories.

  1. What type of data was collected?
  2. How was it collected?
  3. Was this method appropriate for the research questions?
  4. What were the advantages and disadvantages of this method, according to the researchers?
  5. Can you identify any additional advantages and disadvantages?

Journal Article Link 8.3: Zimmerman, D. W., & Williams, R. H. (2000). Restriction of range and correlation in outlier-prone distributionsApplied Psychological Measurement24(3), 267–280.

Abstract: Statistical theory indicates that restriction of the range of possible values of normally distributed variables, and many nonnormal variables, reduces correlations in unrestricted populations. Contrary to this typical outcome, results of a simulation study show that range restriction sometimes increased the correlation between variables having outlier-prone distributions. This result occurred in the case of exponential and ex-Gaussian distributions, which are encountered in experimental studies involving response times. It did not occur in truncated versions of the same densities. Chance occurrence of outliers in contaminated-normal, or mixed-normal, distributions reduced the correlation found between samples from uncontaminated populations. Conversely, detection and downweighing of outliers increased the magnitude of sample correlations, and a similar result occurred for many other outlier-prone distributions. Practical implications of these findings are discussed.

  1. Practice interpreting the correlations in each of the graphs.
  2. What do the results of the correlations suggest?