An Investigation of Societal and Environmental Consciousness among Singaporean Early Teens

We sought to develop a measurement instrument that evaluated Singaporean early teens' societal and environmental consciousness; we call the instrument Singaporean Societal and Environmental Consciousness Inventory (SSECI).

The instrument comprises 12 items rated on a six-level rating scale, ranging from 1 (strongly disagree) to 6 (strongly agree). We reverse coded items 2, 9, and 12. We administered the inventory to 351 Singaporean early teens, aged 14. To test the psychometric properties of the measurement tool, we used a Rating Scale Model (RSM).

The first analysis showed that items 2 (outfit MNSQ = 1.49) and 12 outfit MNSQ = 1.65) were misfitting. The properties of Rasch models apply to the extent that the data fit the model. If the data do not fit, person trait level and item endorsability measures are inaccurate, and the data are unlikely to be unidimensional. We found that the average person measures of the responses in categories 3 and 5 in item 2, and in categories 3 and 4 in item 12, did not ascend with category scores; and a huge difference was observed between the observed and expected point measure correlation values for those items. Additionally, we investigated person performance patterns and fit. We identified 14 individuals with erratic response patterns and huge misfits: the scalograms showed that some persons with higher trait levels had unexpectedly endorsed lower response categories and those with lower trait levels had endorsed higher response categories. We removed these 14 people for separate investigation and reanalyzed the remaining data. The results, as displayed in Table 1, were promising and closer to our expectations.

Table 1. Psychometric Quality of the Refined Singaporean Early Teens' Societal & Environmental Consciousness Inventory
Item Measure Infit MNSQ Infit ZSTD Outfit MNSQ Outfit ZSTD Point Measure Construct theory Statement
5 0.92 1.02 0.24 1.00 0.02 0.48 High More demanding:
I often design or make useful tools (e.g., holding or standing aids for the needy).
10 0.50 0.98 -0.23 0.98 -0.27 0.53 High I often design or make useful objects using reused materials (e.g., containers, papers and clothes for myself or others).
7 0.32 0.71 -4.36 0.71 -4.35 0.72 Medium I often participate in environmental or energy conservation activities.
4 0.25 0.84 -2.18 0.84 -2.17 0.62 Medium I often participate in charity activities or community services.
11 0.04 0.91 -1.18 0.91 -1.25 0.58 Medium I am willing to pay more for environmental friendly products.
8 0.03 0.91 -1.29 0.91 -1.30 0.60 Medium I like to read nature, wildlife or environmental news or magazines.
9REV -0.04 1.30 3.82 1.35 4.36 0.26 High I seldom use environmentally friendly products (e.g., recyclable bags, papers and non-polluting sprays). [Reversed]
6 -0.07 1.24 3.12 1.41 5.24 0.38 Low I will not buy my favourite brand if I know the producer has been giving unfair treatment to the workers.
12REV -0.25 1.28 3.61 1.30 3.77 0.35 Low I will buy my favourite brand even if I know the material used or the producer was causing harm to the environment. [Reversed]
1 -0.39 0.82 -2.30 0.82 -2.38 0.62 Medium I am willing to do volunteer work.
2REV -0.64 1.13 1.56 1.27 3.01 0.39 Low I feel I should not help to raise funds for charity. [Reversed]
3 -0.67 0.84 -1.98 0.83 -2.17 0.58 Medium I am willing to donate money for charitable causes.
Less demanding:

Bond and Fox (2007) regard 0.6 to 1.4 as the acceptable range of fit indices. As Table 1 displays, fit MNSQ indices fell in the range of 0.71-1.41; item difficulty measure has a fairly large spread from a low of -0.67 to a high of 0.92; and point measure correlations are positive and considerably high.

Figure 1. Item-person map (on the left side) and their hypothesized values (on the right side). Each "#" is 4 persons. Each "." is 1 to 3 persons.

Figure 1 graphically displays the location of items and persons in the second analysis and compares them with our hypothetical "construct map" (Wilson, 2005) on the right side. Reading the item contents, we expected that some items likely land on the top, some in the middle, and some at the bottom of the hierarchy. This expectation was met by several items, providing evidence for the construct validity of the measurement tool; the hypothesized latent trait is fairly well-targeted by items.

Predictive validity: persons were divided into high, medium, and low allowance-per-week subgroups. We expected that higher allowance subgroups would be positioned at the top of the map. The ellipses in Figure 1 serve to match the expected construct map against the actual Rasch measures. We observed that this expectation is met in many instances although several participants fell out of the expected areas. The overlapping areas of the ellipses represent the unexpected locations of people based on the allowance-per-week criterion.

Hui Ling Ng, S. Vahid Aryadoust, and Yau Che Ming, National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore


Bond, T. G., & Fox, C. M. (2007). Applying the Rasch model: Fundamental measurement in the human sciences. London: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Wilson, M. (2005). Constructing measures: An item response modeling approach. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates

An Investigation of Societal and Environmental Consciousness among Singaporean Early Teens, Hui Ling Ng, S. Vahid Aryadoust, and Yau Che Ming ... Rasch Measurement Transactions, 2010, 24:2 p. 1276-7

Rasch Publications
Rasch Measurement Transactions (free, online) Rasch Measurement research papers (free, online) Probabilistic Models for Some Intelligence and Attainment Tests, Georg Rasch Applying the Rasch Model 3rd. Ed., Bond & Fox Best Test Design, Wright & Stone
Rating Scale Analysis, Wright & Masters Introduction to Rasch Measurement, E. Smith & R. Smith Introduction to Many-Facet Rasch Measurement, Thomas Eckes Invariant Measurement: Using Rasch Models in the Social, Behavioral, and Health Sciences, George Engelhard, Jr. Statistical Analyses for Language Testers, Rita Green
Rasch Models: Foundations, Recent Developments, and Applications, Fischer & Molenaar Journal of Applied Measurement Rasch models for measurement, David Andrich Constructing Measures, Mark Wilson Rasch Analysis in the Human Sciences, Boone, Stave, Yale
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