CILVR Short Course Series: Questionnaire Item Writing


The Center for Integrated Latent Variable Research (CILVR)



January 14, 2021 (Thursday)

taught by

Deborah Bandalos, James Madison University


Short Description

Researchers often need to develop scales to measure attitudes, personality attributes, opinions, or other noncognitive constructs. Even though many guidelines for scale development have been offered, best practices in this area are not widely understood. This is likely due in part to the lack of clear research-based recommendations, as well as to the fact that research in the area of scale development is often contradictory. In the first part of this course I review the research on such topics as the impact of vaguely worded and of negatively worded items, the optimal length of a scale, the optimal number of scale points, whether scale points should be labeled or unlabeled, whether to include a neutral option, and how item order effects may influence responses.  I also introduce and discuss theories of response processing, and how these can inform our understanding of the effects of these scale characteristics. 

For the second part of the workshop, I provide hands-on practice in writing and revising items. We will use the joint expertise of the workshop instructors and participants to provide feedback to participants on items they are currently developing or revising. We encourage participants to bring with them items they are developing for use in this part of the workshop.

Course Fees

Professional: $195
Full-time student*: $95

*Full-time students must submit student status proof at for prompt processing of the registration.

Free for registered HDQM Department faculty and degree-seeking students, although you must register through the internal link.

REFUND POLICY: Full refund if cancellation occurs at least 10 business days prior to the workshop date; 50% refund if within 10 days of the first day of the course.


More details and registration instructions available on the ITEMWRITING-2021 Workshop page.

For any questions, please contact Ms. Mary Petras at