Effect of Rancher’s Management Philosophy, Grazing Practices, and Personal Characteristics on Sustainability Indices for North Central Texas Rangeland Page: 68
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Finally, Section 5, "Quality of Life", was evaluated for internal consistency. All thirty-
three variables were analyzed. SPSS version 18.0 was used to evaluate the Cronbach's alpha
coefficient. The analysis was computed consecutively with reduction of variables as suggested
by the item to correlation score, until Cronbach's Alpha Coefficient was maximized.
Nominal and ordinal variables, relative to interval variables, are less amenable to
analysis. Garson (2011 a) states that retaining categorical data when utilizing inferential
statistical procedures could lead to the presence of empty cells and can undermine traditional
regression. He also reports, the presence of empty factor cells in the model will undermine the
validity of the ensuing goodness of fit tests and model validity will be uncertain. To deal with
this problem, nominal and ordinal variables can be converted to interval variables through one of
several techniques known as optimal scaling (Moss, 2008). Certain statistical software packages
such have been developed to implement data conversion by optimal scaling (SPSS Inc, 2009b;
de Leeuw and Mair, 2010).
The optimal scaling process turns qualitative variables into quantitative. How this occurs
is dependent on the data set and the criterion for optimization. Various methods exist for creation
of optimality. These include discrimination among objects, maximization of homogeneity or
internal consistency among variables, making pairwise relationships as linear as possible,
maximization of variance accounted for (in the analysis of interdependence), and transformations
toward additivity, maximization of r2, canonical correlation, and the ratio of between to total
dispersion; in the optimal scaling process an appropriate quantification level has to be chosen
(Meulman, J., 1988)
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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/m1/79/: accessed February 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .