Contrastive vignette technique: an indirect methodology designed to address reactive social attitude measurement

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1977

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The need for indirect assessment techniques for the measurement of social attitudes was discussed. The disappointing results of many current methodologies were reviewed. Contrastive Vignette Technique (CVT), an indirect-structured methodology designed to overcome many of the shortcomings inherent in current techniques, was presented. Three construct validation procedures were carried out in attempting to provide evidence for the value of the CVT approach in the assessment of group attitudes: Prediction of convergent and divergent response patterns based on group membership, comparison against concurrent direct measurement of the same conceptual content area, and comparison of response patterns across and within vignettes. Overall results provided support for the validity of the present approach. Of 16 directional response-pattern predictions made in the first experiment, 15 were confirmed, and the remaining prediction was in the expected direction. In the second procedure, expectations of differential response patterns were more clearly observed in CVT performance than in responses on direct scales designed to address the same content. Results of the final experiment suggested that CVT performance was consistent and transsituational, but that the effect of the evaluative context was stronger than expected. Extension and application of Contrastive Vignette Technique is discussed.

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