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A Treasure Trove of Validated Scales

“Measure Chest” Offers a Comprehensive Resource for I-O-Related Scales

By Stephany Schings, Communications Specialist

In research and practice, one of the most common questions for industrial-organizational psychologists is, "how do I find a good measure of X?" A new Web site may hold the answer.

Validated scales—collections of questions or surveys that help identify and quantify information based on psychological principles—are necessary components of research and practice for many I-O psychologists. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to find these scales, which are often scattered amongst several Web sites, journals, and databases.

But a new Web site called “The Measures Toolchest,” brings all of these scales together into one consolidated “Wiki” site.

The Web site was developed through the Academy of Management’s Research Methods Division (RMD) and is currently being administered by SIOP and Academy of Management member John D. Kammeyer-Mueller. Several years ago, RMD began keeping track of validated scales to provide researchers a reference list. The collection, which RMD named the "Measures Chest,” existed mostly in the form of word documents and PDFs, Kammeyer-Mueller said, and didn’t allow anyone to easily add to the list.

In early October Kammeyer-Mueller, who is also an associate professor in the Warrington College of Business Administration at the University of Florida, decided to put the collection online. What he developed was a Wiki site, accessible to anyone, that can be edited and expanded by users.

“It’s to me a way of getting all of these scales out to the public,” Kammeyer-Mueller said. “I see these lists all the time on listervs, and people all have their own lists of scales that are useful, and we  kind of duplicate efforts by each having our own lists. Now people have a place where they can go to get the collections of scales.”

The site currently features 30 subjects for validated scales, including personality, roles, stress, training and development, turnover and related processes, work and family conflict, creativity, and performance. Subjects then are broken down into more specific scales. For example, the “job attitudes” category includes scales on job satisfaction, affective commitment, organizational commitment, psychological contract, psychological contract breach, career success, job insecurity, and occupational self-efficacy.

“The Measures Chest is a list of different constructs and associated measures, organized by topic, with references indicating where the items can be found,” Kammeyer-Mueller explained. “The Measures Chest is now in the form of a wiki. This means that, like Wikipedia, the Measures Chest is an open-source document that can be edited by anyone. Everyone can participate in filling in the database.”

Kammeyer-Mueller said the Wiki format has already spurred more additions to the list, and he hopes to see more scales added. While he said RMD would like to focus on scales that can be used free of charge by researchers, links to professional scales are also welcome. Once a person is registered on the Wiki site, he/she can add their own scales and provide descriptions as to their validity, reliability, and factor structure to help future users.

“It helps to compare the quality of scales,” Kammeyer-Mueller added. “They can look through them and find the best one.”

Kammeyer-Mueller said he hopes the Wiki will save time and effort for researchers.

“I think it will help streamline the research process for people,” Kammeyer-Mueller said. “They will be less distracted with the administrative task of searching for good validated scales and able to focus on the research itself.”

Questions concerning the Wiki site can be directed to John Kammeyer-Mueller at kammeyjd@ufl.edu.