Hot Topics in Quantitative Methods


This course aims to give students a nuanced understanding of the foundations underlying the development and validation of multi-item scales. The course will present a practical overview of the principles and practices involved in scale construction, use, evaluation, and interpretation.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Sandra Costa


Weekly - Available soon

Total - Available soon

Teaching language



Available soon


Cortina, J. M. (1993). What is coefficient alpha? An examination of theory and applications.
Journal of Applied Psychology, 78, 98-104.
DeVellis, R. F. (2003). Scale development: Theory and applications (2nd ed.). Newbury Park, CA: Sage.
Fabrigar, L. R., Wegener, D. T., MacCallum, R. C., & Strahan, E. J. (1999). Evaluating the use of exploratory factor analysis in psychological research. Psychological Methods, 4, 272- 299. Fowler, F. J. (2002). Survey research methods (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage
Furr, M. (2011). Scale construction and psychometrics for social and personality psychology.
SAGE Publications Ltd.
Henson, R. K., & Roberts, J. K. (2006). Use of exploratory factor analysis in published research: Common Errors and some comment on improved practice. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 66, 393-416.
Krosnick, J. A. (1999). Survey research. Annual Review of Psychology, 50, 537-567.
McKenzie, J.F., Wood, M.L., Kotecki, J.E., Clark, J.K., & Brey, R.A. (1999). Establishing content validity: Using qualitative and quantitative steps. American Journal of Health Behavior, 23, 311-318.
Netemeyer, R. G., Bearden, W. O., & Sharma, S. (2003). Scaling procedures: Issues and applications. Sage Publications.
Schmitt, N. (1996). Uses and abuses of coefficient alpha. Psychological Assessment, 8, 350- 353.
Schwarz, N. (1999). Self-reports. How the questions shape the answers. American Psychologist, 54, 93-105.
Thompson, B. (1994). Guidelines for authors reporting score reliability estimates.
Educational and Psychological Measurement, 54, 837-847.

Teaching method

The subject will be delivered through a variety of face-to-face teaching strategies. Lecture will be broken up with short exercises, discussions and examples.

Evaluation method

Written report (100%)
Option 1) Critique of a scale validation paper
Option 2) Development and validation plan of a multi-item scale

Subject matter

1)    Construct Measurement
2)    Scale Development
3)    Scale Validation


Programs where the course is taught: