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Title: The development and validation of the 'Trust in A-levels' scale
Author: Simpson, Lucy Anne
ISNI:       0000 0004 6057 7338
Awarding Body: University of Bristol
Current Institution: University of Bristol
Date of Award: 2016
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Contemporary societies are thought be characterised by a 'culture of suspicion' or 'trust malaise' - citizens are thought to be less trusting of institutions, office-holders and professions. This trend is of particular concern in relation to examinations, because examination results are a form of 'currency' and like all currencies they must be trusted by their users to hold any meaning within a social system. In England, the credibility of examinations has increasingly attracted the governments' attention. An independent watchdog of qualifications and examinations has been established, and research has been conducted into public perceptions of the reliability and validity of examinations. Whilst such research overlaps into the conceptual domain of trust, trust in examinations remains an elusive concept. This study describes the development and validation of a 20-item measure of trust in A-levels. A deductive approach to scale development was taken; meaning the construct and the scale developed simultaneously. Five stages of test construction and validation were undertaken. In stage one, six focus groups were convened with stakeholders to gain insights into the meaning of trust in the context of A-levels. In stage two, an initial item pool was reviewed by a panel of experts. In stage three, the trust-items were piloted at a sixth-form college and a tentative scale constructed. In stage four, the measurement invariance of the scale was tested. In the final stage, the temporal reliability of the scale was established. The Trust in A-levels scale displayed high internal consistency, and evidence of validity at different stages of the scale development process. Respondents also appeared to respond consistently to the scale overtime. Unfortunately, the scale did not display evidence of measurement invariance. Further research is needed to establish whether stakeholders interpret the construct trust in A-levels differently, or whether the findings were influenced by the sample composition and formatting effects.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available