Effect of Rancher’s Management Philosophy, Grazing Practices, and Personal Characteristics on Sustainability Indices for North Central Texas Rangeland Page: 65
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here, it must be demonstrated that the items measure the same thing because lack of
unidimensionality is a form of measurement error (Garson, 2011 c). For this reasoning, internal
consistency of variables was very important to the sustainability sections.
As a result, the first step in creating sustainability indices for inferential purposes was the
identification of variables which maximized Cronbach's Alpha coefficient. This analysis was
conducted using SPSS 18.0. This procedure was much the same as those preformed by Doll and
Jackson (2009), in their effort to understand farmer attitudes.
Scaling is the branch of measurement that measures what is originally an "unmeasurable"
construct. Trochim (2006) gives examples of these constructs like authoritarianism and self
esteem. In the context of this study the "unmeasurable" construct is sustainability.
Trochim, (2006) also acknowledges, "On some scales, you will have items that are
reversed in meaning from the overall direction of the scale. These are called reversal items. You
will need to reverse the response value for each of these items before summing for the total. That
is, if the respondent gave a 1, you make it a 5; if they gave a 2 you make it a 4; 3 = 3; 4 = 2; and,
5 = 1." This is the case with some of the variables to be included in the sustainability indices.
All variables were transformed so that scale scores would align consistently within each index.
A summation of the selected variables from section 2, "Economic Considerations" was
identified as a good metric for sustainability of economic indicators. Scale scores were
calculated by simply adding each respondents selection of 1 through 7 from Likert scale
information; the lower the sum, the greater the sustainability.
The Likert scale for section 4 "Land Health" was a 4 point scale. Variables were
measured on the scale as 1= increase; 2 = constant; 3 = decrease; and 4= unknown. Some of the
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Becker, Wayne. Effect of Rancher’s Management Philosophy, Grazing Practices, and Personal Characteristics on Sustainability Indices for North Central Texas Rangeland, dissertation, December 2011; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103289/m1/76/: accessed September 19, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .