´╗┐´╗┐ GESIS Training Courses

Scientific Coordination

Sebastian E. Wenz
Tel: +49 221 47694-159

Administrative Coordination

Angelika Ruf
Tel: +49 221 47694-162

Short Course D: A (Short) Course on (Short) Scale Development

Online via Zoom
General Topics:
Course Level:
Software used:
Students: 160 €
Academics: 240 €
Commercial: 480 €
Additional links
Lecturer(s): Dr. Clemens Lechner, Dr. Matthias Bluemke, Dr. Isabelle Schmidt

About the lecturer - Dr. Clemens Lechner

About the lecturer - Dr. Matthias Bluemke

About the lecturer - Dr. Isabelle Schmidt

Course description

[This is a 12 hour class.]
Adequate measurement of its key concepts is a prerequisite for any successful science. Survey-based research in the social and behavioural sciences is no exception. Especially when studying phenomena that are not directly observable - such as attitudes, values, motivation, personality, skills or satisfaction - it is important that the measurement instruments (items, scales, questionnaires, tests) be valid, objective, reliable, and free of bias. For scholars whose research involves concepts or phenomena for which no validated measurement exists and who, consequently, have to develop their own measures, this presents a formidable challenge.
Fortunately, there is an established set of tools that can help ensure the quality of newly developed survey instruments. In this course, you will learn how to develop appropriate measurement instruments tailored to your research question. The focus is on short scales that are most apt for survey research.
The course deals primarily with the practical aspects of scale development and questionnaire design. However, it also covers relevant methodological and theoretical basics (e.g., the “psychometric” quality criteria of validity, reliability, objectivity, and others).
We will go through all phases of the development process and address the key objectives, best practices and challenges during each phase:
(1) definition of the phenomenon or concept to be measured
(2) generation of an initial item pool
(2) selection of appropriate items
(3) pretesting and validation of the instrument
(4) documentation and dissemination of the instrument
The course will equip you with the basic skills that you need to develop adequate measures for your research. It can also be valuable to researchers who do not develop their own measures but are interested in evaluating or adapting existing ones.

Target group

Researchers in the social sciences that aim to acquire basic skills needed to evaluate, develop, or adapt adequate measures for studying phenomena that are not directly observable.

Learning objectives

The course will equip you with the basic skills that you need to develop adequate measures for your research in all phases of the development process. You will learn about key objectives, best practices and challenges during each phase.
Organizational Structure of the Course:
The course is a 12h short course scheduled for 3 days (i.e., about 4 hrs of class time per day).
It will contain elements of both theory and practical exercises with statistical software (of participant's choice; R, SPSS, or Stata are recommended).


  • Basic knowledge of survey research
  • Basic knowledge of quantitative methods (correlation, regression, factor analysis, cluster analysis)
  • Required software: You should have access and should be familiar with at least one of the following software packages:  R, SPSS, or Stata
  • Ideally, a concrete research concern for which a scale needs to be developed
    Software and Hardware Requirements:
    You should have access to at least one of the following software packages to work on your own project and/or perform exercises: R, SPSS, or Stata.