Though response set concerns are somewhat diminished for these two questions, a comparative analysis is justified. We will look at means in terms of not just their absolute value, but also their value in comparison with the mean scores on other items listed within a specific question. We will approach the mean scores for these two questions from both the absolute and comparative perspectives.
There is not as much of a problem in making sense of the variance scores with regard to these two questions (or questions addressed in the first two reports). As we indicated in the previous reports, this may be the most interesting descriptive statistic when considering the meaning of scores in a questionnaire such as this one–which was completed by a diverse set of respondents. The variance scores tell you about the extent to which respondents tend to agree with one another. A low variance scores indicates that there is a high level of agreement, whereas a high variance score indicates low levels of agreement (and potential controversy). Some caution does have to be engaged when interpreting variance scores, for an item that pulls for social desirability or acquiescence tends to “squish” everyone toward one end of the scale: there is not a higher (or lower) point on the scale when respondents are making their choice. In the case of these two questions, it may be difficult for respondents to rate many of the items as negative (especially rating them as “very negative”)–though we will see some remarkably low mean scores for several items (with many negative ratings being offered by respondents to these items).Download Article 1K Club