Meaning of ATTITUDE SCALE:
An attitude scale is a method of measuring a large number of individual’s attitudes to an object, person, institution or an idea. The individual is assigned a certain score on the basis of his agreement or disagreement with a set of statements. Three main types of attitude scales are Differential or Thurston scales, Summated Rating or Likert scales and Cumulative or Bogardus and Guttman scales. In Differential scale, an individual is asked whether he agrees or disagrees with a series of gently graded statements, on the basis of which a score is given. On the other hand, in Summated Rating Scales, an individual is asked to register his reply in different shades of agreement or disagreement like strongly agree, indifferent, disagree, strongly disagree, and so on and is given grades accordingly. The cumulative scales consist of graded statements in which the earlier statements only tentatively express a certain point of view while the later statements are more upfront expressions of the same feeling. The grades are given accordingly. Cumulative scales are often used to measure social distance between social groups like the extent of prejudice among racial groups. Attitude scales generally show high validity as well as high reliability as they do not depend absolutely on a single question nor do they suggest the answers. However, they do set up an unnatural frame of reference with rigid choices for the respondent.