Criteria‐based measures of beliefs and attitudes toward nuclear development

Steven Schwartz*, Geoffrey J. Syme

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Although they constitute important data for those involved in technology assessment and project evaluation, values, attitudes and beliefs are difficult to measure because, in many cases, there are no appropriate external criteria for validating such judgements. In addition, factors such as how questions are asked strongly affect the results. This paper has three main goals. First, it shows that, traditional measurement devices, such as rating values, risks and benefits are difficult to interpret thus limiting their usefulness for the evaluation of technological developments. Second, it will be shown that the contribution of beliefs to attitudes about technologies may be numerically described by a technique which permits respondents to simultaneously consider a number of beliefs while evaluating specific projects. Finally, it will be shown that it is possible to set criteria for measurement adequacy even when external criteria are unavailable. Data will be presented with regard to nuclear development. These data do not constitute a poll. Instead, what we are presenting is a technique—a way of measuring beliefs that may be used in any context in which no clear criterion validity exists. 1982 Australian Psychological Society

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-61
Number of pages15
JournalAustralian Psychologist
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1982
Externally publishedYes


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