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      Can’t We Make It Any Shorter? : The Limits of Personality Assessment and Ways to Overcome Them

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          Abstract

          Psychological constructs are becoming increasingly important in social surveys. Scales for the assessment of these constructs are usually developed primarily for individual assessment and decision-making. Hence, in order to guarantee high levels of reliability, measurement precision, and validity, these scales are in most cases much too long to be applied in surveys. Such settings call for extremely short measures validated for the population as a whole. However, despite the unquestionable demand, appropriate measures are still lacking. There are several reasons for this. In particular, short scales have often been criticized for their potential psychometric shortcomings with regard to reliability and validity. In this article, the authors discuss the advantages of short scales as alternative measures in large-scale surveys. Possible reasons for the assumed limited psychometric qualities of short scales will be highlighted. The authors show that commonly used reliability estimators are not always appropriate for judging the quality of scales with a minimal number of items, and they offer recommendations for alternative estimation methods and suggestions for the construction of a thorough short scale.

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          Most cited references 57

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          The Psychology of Survey Response

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            Construction and factorial validation of a short form of the Self-Compassion Scale.

            The objective of the present study was to construct and validate a short-form version of the Self-Compassion Scale (SCS). Two Dutch samples were used to construct and cross-validate the factorial structure of a 12-item Self-Compassion Scale-Short Form (SCS-SF). The SCS-SF was then validated in a third, English sample. The SCS-SF demonstrated adequate internal consistency (Cronbach's alpha ≥ 0.86 in all samples) and a near-perfect correlation with the long form SCS (r ≥ 0.97 all samples). Confirmatory factor analysis on the SCS-SF supported the same six-factor structure as found in the long form, as well as a single higher-order factor of self-compassion. The SCS-SF thus represents a reliable and valid alternative to the long-form SCS, especially when looking at overall self-compassion scores. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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              Why g matters: The complexity of everyday life

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                jid
                Journal of Individual Differences
                Hogrefe Publishing
                1614-0001
                2151-2299
                November 2014
                2014
                : 35
                : 4
                : 212-220
                Affiliations
                [ 1 ] GESIS – Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences, Mannheim, Germany
                Author notes
                Beatrice Rammstedt, GESIS – Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences, PO Box 12 21 55, 68072 Mannheim, Germany beatrice.rammstedt@ 123456gesis.org
                Article
                jid_35_4_212
                10.1027/1614-0001/a000141
                Product
                Self URI (journal-page): https://econtent.hogrefe.com/loi/jid
                Categories
                Original Article

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