Development and validation of a self-report cognitive appraisal scale
Yanchus, Nancy Jane
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The purpose of this study was to develop a self-report cognitive appraisal scale and validate it according to the stringent psychometric criteria found in the Industrial/Organizational literature. In Study I, a 65 item scale was adapted from items used by Smith and Ellsworth (1985) to measure cognitive appraisal, but with several modifications. Data were collected on 404 participants and were analyzed with exploratory factor analysis using principal component analysis. A parallel analysis run prior to the PCA indicated a nine factor solution. In Study II, data were collected on 803 participants using a revised version of the scale. An exploratory factor analysis using PA and PCA was performed and a ten factor solution emerged. Using LISREL 8.54, the convergent and discriminant validity of the scale was assessed. The results indicated a general pattern of significant correlations in the predicted direction among the appraisal scale factors and related constructs, which begins to establish the convergent validity of the scale. In addition, the comparisons between the restricted and unrestricted models for the appraisal scale factors and the constructs which were conceptually similar but theoretically distinct indicated that the appraisal scale was not redundant with these existing scales. This establishes the discriminant validity of the appraisal scale. A series of multiple regressions was run to investigate the predictive patterns of relationships between the appraisal dimensions and emotions. The general discussion includes the main conclusions of the study, the theoretical and applied implications as well as the limitations of the study, and directions for future research.