IRT Analysis And Validation Of The Grit Scale: A Russian Investigation
Schwartz’s theory of human values, as operationalized using di_erent instruments such as the Portrait Values Questionnaire (PVQ), was confirmed by multiple studies using Smallest Space Analysis (SSA). Because of its success, a short version of the PVQ was introduced in the European Social Survey (ESS). However, initial tests using Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA) pointed to low discriminant validity of the 10 basic values: The correlations between values next to each other in the two-dimensional space described by SSA were close to or greater than 1. In response, one research stream suggested combining the factors with low discriminant validity. Another stream suggested that the problem was not low discriminant validity but rather misspecifications in the model. Analyses of the short Portrait Values Questionnaire of the ESS confirmed the latter view.
This paper demonstrates that the problems of the short version of the PVQ exist in the full 40-item PVQ as well. Based on SEM analyses of the items of the full PVQ, we propose that it can provide measures of 15 more narrowly defined values with good discriminant validity. Our proposal respects the conceptual complexity of the values theory while avoiding contamination of composite scores. It can be expected that the improved measurement of 15 values will increase their predictive power. The presence of some single items suggests the extension of the value theory and scales to encompass more than 15 values. Implications for further development of the scale are drawn.
According to the theory of basic human values (Schwartz, 1992), values form a circular motivational continuum. The original publication and most subsequent research partitioned this continuum into 10 values. In theory, however, it could be partitioned into a larger number of more narrowly defined values. We use multidimensional scaling (MDS) and confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) of data from the Portrait Values Questionnaire in Poland (N=10,439) to assess a finer partitioning of values. MDS confirmed the circular motivational continuum of 10 values, with benevolence and universalism reversing positions. CFA discriminated 15 hypothesized values: 2 subtypes of universalism (protecting the environment and societal concern), 2 of achievement (ambition and showing success), 2 of self-direction (autonomy of action and autonomy of thought), 2 of security (national security and personal security), 2 of tradition (tradition and humility), plus stimulation, hedonism, power, conformity and benevolence. These 15 values were also distinguishable in the MDS projection.
School climate is a significant factor of educational achievement. However, relevant research in Russia is difficult due to the absence of instruments. The paper peeks into the history of the notion of school climate, discussing approaches to defining the term. It also describes the most widespread questionnaires used to measure school climate and provides an analysis of their components. The empirical study is based on the student questionnaire used by the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), which should ideally allow measuring a number of school climate aspects. A psychometric analysis based on the methods of confirmatory factor analysis and modern test theory reveals that the structure of school climate indices is different from what questionnaire designers expected it to be. It can not be clearly determined whether the questions reflect the school climate indicators that the questionnaires were supposed to measure. Some statements are worded in such a way that most school students should either agree or disagree with them, without showing any difference in their attitude toward the subject. The scale is unbalanced for the majority of items. The article suggests making some specific steps to improve this instrument
Grit is widely considered a trait composed of perseverance of effort (PE) and consistency of long-term interests (CI) that is positively associated with educational and professional attainments. However, because of unclear relations between the two elements that compose grit, PE and CI, the theoretical model of the construct of grit is still questionable. On the one hand, we have extensive evidence that the overall score for grit can predict important life outcomes. On the other hand, predictive ability does not necessarily indicate that a measure reflects a unitary psychological trait. In the case of the Grit scale, a number of works have shown that treating grit as a whole or higher-order construct is psychometrically and psychologically unsound. In this work, we aimed to explore the relationship of PE and CI with long-term educational outcomes in desired educational trajectories while controlling for potentially confounding factors. We hypothesized that if PE and CI are facets of a unified grit construct, we would find consistent patterns in these facets for a range of educational outcomes. Our study was conducted on a large sample of students (N=3110) from a national longitudinal study of school and university graduates. These students were also participants in both the TIMSS-2011 and PISA-2012 studies. When the students were in 9th grade, we assessed their grit, academic achievement, and educational aspiration. The next year, we obtained information about the choices students made after completing compulsory education: staying in high school vs. obtaining vocational training. Two years later, we again assessed the students’ educational and life outcomes. We run two regression models. The first model was a model with PE and CI as predictors only. In the second model, SES, gender, cognitive ability scores and educational aspirations were added as covariates. To test the mediation hypotheses, we also run regression models for possible mediators (educational aspirations and achievement) as outcomes. The results showed that perseverance was a better predictor than interests, although the effects of perseverance on long-term educational outcomes were more often indirect. Consistency of interests did not predict educational trajectories or achievement. Accordingly, we failed to find any consistent patterns in perseverance and interests with long-term educational outcomes. These findings are discussed in terms of the nature of the grit construct and the validity of the Grit scale.
The distractive effects on attentional task performance in different paradigms are analyzed in this paper. I demonstrate how distractors may negatively affect (interference effect), positively (redundancy effect) or neutrally (null effect). Distractor effects described in literature are classified in accordance with their hypothetical source. The general rule of the theory is also introduced. It contains the formal prediction of the particular distractor effect, based on entropy and redundancy measures from the mathematical theory of communication (Shannon, 1948). Single- vs dual-process frameworks are considered for hypothetical mechanisms which underpin the distractor effects. Distractor profiles (DPs) are also introduced for the formalization and simple visualization of experimental data concerning the distractor effects. Typical shapes of DPs and their interpretations are discussed with examples from three frequently cited experiments. Finally, the paper introduces hierarchical hypothesis that states the level-fashion modulating interrelations between distractor effects of different classes.