Sunday, March 17, 2019

Modified Parenting Scale

The Modified Parenting Scale is a shortened version of the Parenting Scale developed by Arnold, O'Leary, Wolff, & Acker (1993).

The 2007 study by Prinzie, Onghena, and Hellinckx revealed two dimensions, which are overreactivity and laxness.

The reliability data were reported as acceptable to good in this sample of more than 1000 parents. There is some evidence of predictive validity. Inadequate parenting was positively related to problem behavior on the Child Behavior Checklist (Achenbach- See ASEBA for details) and stress as measured by the Parenting Stress Index (Dutch version; See Doll 1989 for a review).

The full version can be found on PsycTESTS. There are 20 items, which are rated on 7-point Likert scales.

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Item Examples

Laxness items

16 When my child does something I don’t like . . . I do something about it every time it happens – I
often let it go.

12 When I want my child to stop doing something . . . I firmly tell my child to stop – I coax or beg my child
to stop

Overreactivity items

3 When I’m upset or under stress . . . I am no more picky than usual – I am picky and on my
child’s back.

9 When my child misbehaves . . . I keep my talks short and to the point – I give my
child a long lecture.

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Prinzie, P., Onghena, P., & Hellinckx, W. (2007). Reexamining the Parenting Scale: Reliability, factor structure, and concurrent validity of a scale for assessing the discipline practices of mothers and fathers of elementary-school-aged children. European Journal of Psychological Assessment, 23(1), 24-31. doi: 10.1027/1015-5759.23.1.24.


PsycTESTS is available in many library systems.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Measuring Marital Satisfaction

The Kansas Marital Satisfaction Scale (KMSS) is a frequently used short measure of relationship quality. using just three items, the KMSS has yielded highly reliable and validity data.

Internal consistency (alpha) values were in the 90s range (see for example Schumm et al., 2008). Validity data were also adequate when the KMSS was compared with longer measures like the Dyadic Adjustment Scale (DAS; see for example Schumm et al., 1986).

The scale was developed by Walter R. Schumm of Kansas State University. See additional references below.

The scale may be used for educational and research purposes without permission.

Kansas Marital Satisfaction Scale (KMSS): 3-items
Items are rated on a 7-point scale ranging from 1 (extremely dissatisfied) to 7 (extremely satisfied).

1.      How satisfied are you with your marriage?

2.      How satisfied are you with your husband/wife as a spouse?

3.      How satisfied are you with your relationship with your husband/wife?

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References to studies using the KMSS.

Bowman, A., & Sutton, G.W. (2004). Marital satisfaction and relational attachment in a sample of newly married couples. Psychological Reports, 95, 989-991.  Academia Link ResearchGate Link

McLeland, K. C., & Sutton, G. W. (2005) Military service, marital status, and men’s relationship satisfaction. Individual Differences Research, 3, 177-182.  Academia Link    ResearchGate Link

McLeland, K. C., Sutton, G. W., & Schumm, W. (2008). Marital Satisfaction before and after deployments associated with the global war on terror. Psychological Reports, 103, 836-844. Academia Link    Research Gate Link

Schumm, W. R., Crock, R. J., Likcani, A., Akagi, C. G., & Bosch, K. R. (2008). Reliability and Validity of The Kansas Marital Satisfaction Scale With Different Response Formats in a Recent Sample of U.S. Army Personnel. Individual Differences Research, 6(1), 26–37. Retrieved from


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Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Dark Triad Scale (Dirty Dozen)

The toxic triad is commonly known as the Dark Triad. The triad consists of three sets of personality traits representing features of Narcissistic, Psychopathic, and Machiavellian personality clusters.

The Dirty Dozen Scale

Psychological Scientists Peter Jonason and Gregory Webster developed a scale known as the Dirty Dozen (2010), which uses 12-items to identify key features of this “Dark” or Toxic Triad.

Here’s the 12 items

1.      I tend to manipulate others to get my way.
2.      I tend to lack remorse.
3.      I tend to want others to admire me.
4.      I tend to be unconcerned with the morality of my actions.
5.      I have used deceit or lied to get my way.
6.      I tend to be callous or insensitive.
7.      I have used flattery to get my way.
8.      I tend to seek prestige or status.
9.      I tend to be cynical.
10.  I tend to exploit others toward my own end.
11.  I tend to expect special favors from others.
12.  I want others to pay attention to me.

Each item is rated on a 7-point Likert-type scale based how much it applies to a person. Here’s the subscales:

Narcissism = 3, 8, 11, 12
Psychopathy = 2, 4, 6, 9
Machiavellianism = 1, 5, 7, 10

As you can see, scores could range from 12 to 84. Webster & Jonason (2013) examined the scale in samples totaling 1,014 college students. The second sample used the 7-point rating scale, which resulted in an overall item mean of 2.92 and SD of 1.07.

Overall alpha was .87. See Table 3 of their article for more details. Note that this is a general population college sample thus we would expect higher scores in clinical samples.

For a more recent meta-analytic review of various measures of the Dark Triad, see Muris et al., 2017 (reference below).

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Jonason, P. K., & Webster, G. D. (2010). The dirty dozen: A concise measure of the dark triad. Psychological Assessment, 22(2), 420-432. doi:10.1037/a0019265 [See Table 8 on page 429 for the list of the 12 items.]

Muris, P.,  Merckelback, H., Otgaar, H. & Meijer, E. (2017). The Malevolent Side of Human Nature: A Meta-Analysis and Critical Review of the Literature on the Dark Triad (Narcissism, Machiavellianism, and Psychopathy). Perspectives on Psychological Science, 12 (2), 183-204.

Webster, G. D., & Jonason, P. K. (2013). Putting the 'irt' in 'dirty': Item response theory analyses of the dark triad dirty dozen—an efficient measure of narcissism, psychopathy, and Machiavellianism. Personality and Individual Differences, 54(2), 302-306. doi:10.1016/j.paid.2012.08.027

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Friday, September 28, 2018

The Moral Foundations Questionnaire (MFQ)

The Moral Foundations Questionnaire (MFQ) is available online and as a download. You can take the test online and get your scores. The MFQ is designed to measure the five core moral foundations derived from Moral Foundations Theory developed by Jonathan Haidt and his colleagues. (See references at the end of this post).

The MFQ evaluates moral foundations based on answers to questions. There are five moral foundations in the MFQ:

Equality-Fairness; aka fairness/cheating
Authority-Respect; aka Authority/subversion
Purity-Sanctity aka Sanctity/degradation

I added the aka because you will find somewhat different words in some articles.

See this page for a description of the five core foundations

Researchers can use the MFQ items to create their own surveys.

The current version (2018) is a 30-item version known as the MFQ30. There is also a shorter version known as the MFQ20, which has 20 items, 4-items for each of the 5 core moral foundations.

The MFQ is available in multiple languages.

Where to get the MFQ:

Haidt and his colleagues have added a sixth foundation to assess liberty. There are two subscales to this foundation.

Where to get the Liberty Scale Items: 

See the Appendix at the end of the Iyer et al., article on Plos


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Graham, J., & Haidt, J. (2010). Beyond beliefs: Religions bind individuals into moral communities. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 14, 140–150. doi: 10.1177/1088868309353415
Graham, J., Haidt, J., & Nosek, B. A. (2009).  Liberals and conservatives rely on different sets of moral foundations. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 96, 1029-1046. doi:10.1037/a0015141
Graham, J., Nosek, B. A., & Haidt, J. (2012). The moral stereotypes of liberals and conservatives: Exaggeration of differences across the political spectrum. PLoS ONE7(12), e50092.

Graham, J., Nosek, B. A., Haidt, J., Iyer, R., Koleva, S., & Ditto, P. H. (2011). Mapping the moral domain. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 101, 366-385. doi:10.1037/a0021847
Haidt, J. (2001). The emotional dog and its rational tail: A social intuitionist approach to moral judgment. Psychological Review, 108, 814–834. doi:10.1037//0033-295x.108.4.814
Haidt, J. (2012). The righteous mind: Why good people are divided by politics and religion. New York: Pantheon.
Haidt, J., & Graham, J. (2007).  When morality opposes justice: Conservatives have moral intuitions that liberals may not recognize. Social Justice Research, 20, 98-116. doi:10.1007/s11211-007-0034-z
Haidt, J., & Joseph, C. (2004). Intuitive ethics: How innately prepared intuitions generate culturally variable virtues. Daedalus: Special Issue on Human Nature133(4), 55–66. doi:10.1162/0011526042365555
Iyer, R., Koleva, S., Graham, J., Ditto, P., & Haidt, J. (2012). Understanding Libertarian morality: The psychological dispositions of self-identified Libertarians. Plos One, 7(8): e42366. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0042366
Johnson, K. A., Hook, J. N., Davis, D. E., Van Tongeren, D. R., Sandage, S. J., & Crabtree, S. A. (2016). Moral foundation priorities reflect U.S. Christians’ individual differences in religiosity. Personality and Individual Differences. doi: 10.1016/j.paid.2015.12.037.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Four Types of Measurement

Behavioral scientists commonly refer to four types of measurement or scales. Understanding the types of measurement or scales is important because some numbers have limited applications and they are misused.

The four types of measurement scales are as follows: Nominal, Ordinal, Interval, and Ratio.

This information is taken from Chapter 5 of Applied Statistics: Concepts for Counselors

Nominal Scale

This is often called the naming scale. The numbers allow researchers to classify people as belonging in a group. The numbers cannot be added or ranked.

If we were studying treatment of people with depression we might form two groups simply numbers 1 and 2 for those getting treatment and those on a waiting list for treatment. All people in the study have a number but the number is just a classification.

Numbers on sports team players may represent positions.

Ordinal Scale

The ordinal scale is a ranking scale. Performance can be ranked in order of high to low. You can rate projects, products, and many other human characteristics. Sporting events include rating scales when judging an atheletes performance. For example, you could rate gymnastic performance on a scale from 1 to 10 or even 1 to 100.

Interval Scale

Interval scales are common in the behavioral sciences. Many test scores are interval scores. Scientists argue about the properties of the intervals but for general purposes, these scores are routinely used in education, counseling, psychology, social work, sociology, and other disciplines.

Scores on tests of intelligence, achievement, and personality are often interval scale scores. Test administrators can calculate an arithmetic average (M, Mean) and standard deviation (SD). It is possible to compare how individuals score on a test compared to the average for their group. It is also possible to determine if group averages are different from each other.

Caution is needed with test scores. For example, a person with an IQ of 50 is NOT half as intelligent as someone with an IQ of 100. It is not correct to compare scores on tests measured on an interval scale as if the scores represented a ratio. Again, a standard score of 130 on a reading test does not mean the person is twice as good at reading as a person who score a 65.

Ratio Scale

The ratio scale is like the interval scale but the numbers can have a true zero point and we can meaningful speak about ratios.

A person who weighs 200 pounds is twice as heavy as a person who weighs 100 pounds.

Measures of height and weight are examples of ratio scales.

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Tuesday, August 21, 2018


The Adult Attachment Scale or AAS was developed by Professor Nancy Collins at UCSB. The scale was revised in 1996. Attachment theory developed from obsrvations and experiments with children and primates. Many have focused on two dimensions of anxiety and avoidance (or closeness). In the AAS, professor Collins includes a subscale to measure the dependability of a friend.

The full scale has 18 items rated on a 1-5 scale ranging from Not at all (1) to very (5) characteristic of me.

Following are sample items:

1)         I find it relatively easy to get close to people.                                                     ________
2)         I find it difficult to allow myself to depend on others.                                         ________
3)         I often worry that other people don't really love me.                                            ________

The coefficient alpha values range from .78 to .85 for the scales in three studies.

The full scale along with scoring guidelines and useful references are available for download from professor Collins at this link:

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Collins, N. L. (1996).  Working models of attachment: Implications for explanation, emotion, and behavior.  Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 71, 810-832.
Collins, N. L., & Read, S. J. (1990).  Adult attachment, working models, and relationship quality in dating couples.  Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 54, 644-663.


Attachment and Attachment Theory


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Friday, August 17, 2018

Attachment to God Inventory

The Attachment to God Inventory (AGI) developed by Richard Beck and Angie McDonald (2004) consists of 28 items divided into two subscales (14 items each for Avoidant and Anxious Attachment).

The scale is based on attachment theory as applied to the study of the relationship between Christians and God commonly portrayed as a parent-child relationship and referred to in the literature as attachment to God (e.g., Kirkpatrick, 2012). Avoidant attachment refers to a sense of distance from God. People close to God view God as protective. Anxious attachment reflects an insecure relationship with God in contrast to a secure relationship.

Participants rate each scale item from 1= disagree strongly to 7 = agree strongly. A sample item from the avoidant subscale is, “I prefer not to depend too much on God.” A sample item from the anxious subscale is, “I worry a lot about my relationship with God.”

Based on two college and one community samples, Beck and McDonald (2004) reported Cronbach alpha values for the subscales: Avoidant, α = .84 and α = .86 and Anxious α = .80 and α = .87.

The AGI in other research

Two studies: Anxious attachment alpha = .80, 92 Avoidant attachment alpha = .88, 89, Sutton et al. (2018).

Anxious attachment alpha = .87 Avoidant attachment alpha = .86, Sutton, Jordan, & Worthington (2014).

The 28 items of the AGI

The full set of 28 items can be found on page 103 of the Beck and McDonald 2004 article referenced below.

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Beck, R., & McDonald, A. (2004). Attachment to God: The attachment to God inventory, tests of working model correspondence, and an exploration of faith group differences. Journal of Psychology and Theology32, 92–103. (See page 103 for the list of 28 items.)

Kirkpatrick, L. A. (2012). Attachment theory and the evolutionary psychology of religion. International Journal for the Psychology of Religion22(3), 231-241. doi:10.1080/10508619.2012.679556

Sutton, G. W., Jordan, K., & Worthington, E.L., Jr. (2014). Spirituality, hope, compassion, and forgiveness: Contributions of Pentecostal spirituality to godly love. Journal of Psychology and Christianity, 33, 212-226. Academia Link     ResearchGate 

Sutton, G. W., McLeland, K. C., Weaks, K. Cogswell, P. E., & Miphouvieng, R. N. (2007). Does gender matter? An exploration of gender, spirituality, forgiveness and restoration following pastor transgressions. Pastoral Psychology. 55, 645-663. doi 10.1007/ s11089-007-0072-3 Online Link n11144j1655536l2/ Academia link Research Gate Link


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Modified Parenting Scale

The Modified Parenting Scale is a shortened version of the Parenting Scale developed by Arnold, O'Leary, Wolff, & Acker ( 1993 ...