This is a quantitative study using survey to examine attitude towards online reading. In the survey, there are 5 main components which contribute to overall attitude. Each component has different number of items. Four of those components using 4-point Likert Scale and one of the components is using "Never","Sometimes","Often","All the time."

  1. Cognitive and Behavioral Engagement : 12 items (4 point likert scale "Strongly agree","Agree","Disagree","Strongly disagree")
  2. Self-Regulatory Behavior: 14 items ("Never","Sometimes","Often","All the time")
  3. Anxiety: 8 items (4 point Likert scale "Strongly agree", "Agree", "Disagree", "Strongly disagree")
  4. Value/Interest: 12 items (4 point Likert scale "Strongly agree", "Agree", "Disagree", "Strongly disagree")
  5. Efficacy for Online Reading: 8 items (4 point likert scale "Strongly agree", "Agree", "Disagree", "Strongly disagree")

My Research objectives and research questions are:

  1. RO: To examine attitude towards online reading. RQ: What is the attitude towards online reading?

  2. RO: To determine the components that have strong/weak influence on overall attitude RQ1: Which component has strong influence on attitude? RQ2: Which component has weak influence on attitude?

What statistical test should I use to answer my research questions?I am using SPSS.Attitude is measured in an ordinal scale; positive, neutral and negative (if I'm not mistaken). I really hope you could help me solve this problem. Thank you in advance for the help.


1 Answer 1



Attitudes toward online reading can be assessed with components 1, 3, 4, and 5. Attitude cannot be assessed with component 2 because this component represents self-behavior and the response options for component two are about frequency of behaviors, not attitudes.

Before assessing attitudes, I recommend running a cronbach's alpha test of internal consistency on each set of questions representing the components. The outcomes will tell you whether responses to each question is adequately related to other questions within the same component. If one question does not seem to fit too well, consider dropping it from a component. Make sure that you reverse score negatively phrased items, if there are any, before running cronbach's alpha. Cronbach's alpha is found under Scale in the SPSS Analyze drop down list -- choose reliability analysis.

Next aggregate the outcomes within each component. In other words, sum the responses for each question and then divide by the number of questions. For example, if component 3 (anxiety) is composed of items/questions 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, then for each participant add up all 8 scores and then divide by 8. This will give you an overall component score for anxiety. Your anxiety score can then be compared using factors like gender and race. Note that although the data are ordinal, as you pointed out, when you combine items into an overall score, it is appropriate to use parametric statistics with analyses on the overall component scores.

If you want to determine overall attitude you would need to repeat the above process combining all items except #2. Determining weak vs. strong influence of components on overall attitude could be tricky because an attitude in either the left or right direction can be equally strong. I suppose that components with overall scores closest to the mean (between disagree and agree) would qualify as those being the weakest because it suggests neutral attitude.

  • $\begingroup$ I give a lengthy description that contains information about something I do on a continual basis in a professional setting and have published articles on in peer-reviewed journals, and somebody down votes my reply! The person who down voted my reply can pay $100 learning the same thing from a statistical consultant if they don't believe me. This voting format is silly. I am out of here. So long Cross Validated. $\endgroup$
    – Davester
    Dec 19, 2014 at 18:33

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.