Graduation Year

2010

Document Type

Thesis

Degree

M.S.

Degree Granting Department

Chemistry

Major Professor

Jennifer E. Lewis, Ph.D.

Keywords

Scale development, Reliability, Validity, Factor analysis, Higher education

Abstract

This work presents the evaluation and refinement of a chemistry attitude measure, Attitude toward the Subject of Chemistry Inventory (ASCI), for college students. The original 20-item and revised eight-item versions of ASCI (V1, V2, V3 and V3.1) were administered to different samples. The evaluation for ASCI had two main foci on the psychometric properties: reliability and validity. Both psychological theory and factor analysis techniques were applied to guide instrument refinement. Evidence for good reliability and validity was established for ASCI V2 score interpretation. The two-factor correlated structure was supported by confirmatory factor analysis. The two subscales, intellectual accessibility and emotional satisfaction, are indicators of cognition and affect components of attitude, and thus we can make good connection with tripartite attitude framework (cognition, affect and behavior) in psychology. As regards to attitude-achievement relationship, other than the well-known aptitude test score, students' attitude played a significant role in predicting final achievement in General Chemistry I course. This work represents the first time in the area of chemical education that a benchmark for scale development was successfully implemented to reconstruct an existing instrument. In addition to showcasing a method for examining validity, a second important result of this work is to recommend refinements that lead to greater ease of administration while improving validity: this eight item instrument now takes very little time to administer.

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