Date of Award

1990

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Wayne F. Velicer

Abstract

I evaluated the relationship between self-knowledge and the psychometric properties of self-report measures of personality traits and attitudes. To accomplish this, three sequential investigations were conducted and each investigation was based on data collected in two relatively large community college samples (NI = 351; N2 = 260). In the first investigation, competing measurement models of the Self-Consciousness Scale (SCS) were systematically examined within a structural modeling framework. A 3-factor correlated measurement model eliminating eight of the original SCS items provided the best fit to the data. A shortened version of the private self-consciousness subscale (PriSC), an indicator of self-knowledge differences, was recommended as a potential alternative to the original 10-item subscale. Results were confirmed over time and sample, and implications for self-consciousness theory were discussed. In the second investigation, three studies were conducted in an attempt to clarify the structure, reliability and predictive validity of the Survey of Study Habits and Attitudes (SSHA). A brief 32-item version of this questionnaire, simply labeled the Brief Survey of Study Habits and Attitudes (BSSHA) was developed and found to be psychometrically superior to the original 100-item questionnaire. The four BSSHA scales were labeled: Learning Difficulties, Academic Diligence, Delay-Avoidance, and Teacher Approval. Finally, in the last investigation two studies examined the relationship between PriSC and the internal and external validity of the BS SHA scales. Both the original and short versions of the PriSC scale were used to define high and low self-knowledge groups. Moderator effects related to the internal validity of the BS SHA were minimal, and effects on stability depended on the scale involved. Further, PriSC moderated the predictive validity of the Academic Diligence scale and the Teacher Approval scale, but not the predictive validity of the remaining two BSSHA scales or an objective measure of aptitude. Finally, results were consistent across versions of the PriSC scale, but the shorter 5-item scale tended to be slightly more sensitive in producing effects. Overall results are considered in terms of their implications for future research, self-consciousness theory, and studies of self-directed learning.

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