Chapter 4: Testing the measurement of environmental concern: how do single items perform in comparison to multi-item scales?
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In this chapter we assess the test-retest reliability and construct validity of a composite measure of environmental concern as it is contained in the environmental modules of the International Social Survey Programme. We follow the multitrait-multimethod approach first suggested by Campbell and Fiske (1959) and compare two instruments, environmental concern and empathy, and two methods, face-to-face personal interviewing and self-administered online surveys. Overall, 310 student volunteers participated in the study, each being interviewed twice within four to six weeks. We also compare the performance of the composite index with two single items that measure environmental concern. The study results suggest that the composite index has high reliability and high validity and outperforms any of the single-item alternatives.

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