The measurement of values in surveys: A comparison of ratings and rankings

Duane F. Alwin, Jon A. Krosnick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

238 Scopus citations


Social values are most commonly measured using ranking techniques, but there is a scarcity of systematic comparisons between rankings and other approaches to measuring values in survey research. On the basis of data from the 1980 General Social Survey, this article evaluates the comparability of results obtained using rankings and ratings of valued qualities. The comparison focuses on (1) the ordering of aggregate value preferences and (2) the measurement of individual differences in latent value preferences. The two methods are judged to be similar with respect to ordering the aggregate preferences of the sample, but dissimilar with regard to the latent variable structure underlying the measures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)535-552
Number of pages18
JournalPublic Opinion Quarterly
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1985

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Communication
  • History
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • General Social Sciences
  • History and Philosophy of Science


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