Measuring Self-Reported Studying and Learning for University Students: Linking Attitudes and Behaviours on the Same Scale.

Document Type

Journal Article


The British Psychological Society


Community Services, Education and Social Sciences






This article was originally published as: Waugh, R. F. (2002). Measuring self-reported studying and learning for university students: Linking attitudes and behaviours on the same scale. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 72(4), 573-604. Original article available here


Background. The relationships between self-reported Approaches to Studying and Self-concept, Self-capability and Studying and Learning Behaviour are usually studied by measuring the variables separately (using factor analysis and Cronbach Alphas) and then using various correlation techniques (such as multiple regression and path analysis). This procedure has measurement problems and is called into question. Aims. To create a single scale of Studying and Learning using a model with subsets of ordered stem-items based on a Deep Approach, a Surface Approach and a Strategic Approach, integrated with three self-reported aspects (an Ideal Self-view, a Capability Self-view and a Studying and Learning Behaviour Self-view). Samples. The stem-item sample was 33, all answered in three aspects, that produced an effective item sample of 99. The person convenience sample was 431 students in education (1st to 4th year) at an Australian university during 2000. Method. The latest Rasch Unidimensional Measurement Model Computer Program (Andrich, Lyne, Sheridan, & Luo, 2000) was used to analyse the data and create a single scale of Studying and Learning. Results. Altogether 77 items fitted a Rasch Measurement Model and formed a scale in which the ‘difficulties’ of the items were ordered from ‘easy’ to ‘hard’ and the student measures of Studying and Learning were ordered from ‘low’ to ‘high’. The proportion of observed student variance considered true was 0.96. The response categories were answered consistently and logically and the results supported many, but not all, the conceptualised ordering of the subscales. Students found it ‘easy’ to report a high Ideal Self-view, ‘much harder’ to report a high Capability Self-view, and ‘harder still’ to report a high Studying and Learning Behaviour for the stem-items, in accordance with the model, where items fit the Measurement model. The Ideal Self-view Surface Approach items provided the most non-fit to the model. Conclusion. This method was highly successful in producing a single scale of Studying and Learning from self-reported Self-concepts, Self-capabilities, and Studying and Learning Behaviours, based on a Deep Approach, a Surface Approach and a Strategic Approach.




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