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A Commentary on Kerlinger's Structural Theory of Social Attitudes

Marco, Gary Lee.; Zdep, Stanley M.
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Bulletin
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Attitude Measures, Data Analysis, Factor Structure, Kerlinger, F. N., Social Attitudes, Theories


Kerlinger's structural theory of attitudes is analyzed, and some of the implications of the theory are examined. Initially, Kerlinger's generalization from educational attitudes to the whole domain of social attitudes is questioned. In addition, Kerlinger's conclusion that social attitudes are multidimensional is shown to be an artifact of his definition of "attitude." Moreover, it is pointed out that the factor analytic results obtained by Kerlinger cannot be interpreted as evidence against the bipolarity of attitudes. Finally, in terms of implications for attitude measurement, it is suggested that the relevance as well as the affect of items be assessed.

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