Effect of Rancher’s Management Philosophy, Grazing Practices, and Personal Characteristics on Sustainability Indices for North Central Texas Rangeland Page: 66
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variables would tend toward sustainability if they were increasing, some if they were decreasing.
For example, an increase in brush does not align with sustainable rangeland indicators (West and
Herrick, 2003), while an increase in wildlife would. Transformation of values for increasing and
decreasing was applied to some variables in the index so all were consistent with respect to
sustainability. Ultimately, 3 was a value indicating greater sustainability, 1 lesser; 4 (unknown
categories were replaced using software available in the R environment, package 'seqKNN').
In section 5, "Quality of Life" all variables included in the sustainability index were 7
point Likert scale questions. Simple summation of respondent answers was used for creation of
this Social Sustainability Index. All questions aligned so that the lower the score, the more
sustainable the case.
Prior to maximizing for Cronbach's alpha coefficient, transformations to select variables
were necessary. Preliminary analysis may reveal inconvenient coding schemes or coding errors,
or data transformations may be required in order to expose the true relationship between
variables (SPSS, 2009a).
Section 2, Economic Considerations, originally was composed of 14 questions and 30
variables. The last questions, 2.1 and 2.2 were questions asking the respondent to "check all that
apply." These were originally coded into SPSS with each possible response being a single,
dichotomous, yes/no variable, resulting in 18 total variables. When analyzing for Cronbach's
alpha using SPSS 18.0, without transformation of these variables, the determinant of the
covariance matrix was zero. Therefore, statistics based on its inverse matrix could not be
computed. This causes questionable output in SPSS 18.
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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/m1/77/: accessed May 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .