Critique Measurement Instruments

Critique Measurement Instruments

Reference Information

  1. Title of the instrument

“The symbolic Racism 2000 Scale.”

  1. Authors: P.J. Henry and D.O. Sears
  2. Publisher and Dates of Publication: Political Psychology, 2002


Construct(s), domain(s), or variable(s) the instrument measures:

It is important to know that this measure of the instrument is categorized into four subscales of racism:

  • The job responsibility as well as ethical outcomes
  • Extreme demands
  • Repudiation of consistent prejudice
  • Unjustifiable advantages

The black people were specifically used as variables in the instrument (Henry & Sears, 2002). Although there were other independent variables used in the instrument, it is essential to know that in the civil rights leaders of the black community were used to measure political predispositions as well as the traditional racial attitudes and perceptions. The instrument contributed to the measurement of three forms of traditional racial attitudes.

  • The traditional discrimination measured against the minority groups such as the people of color especially in the instances where they were not smart when compared to other racial groupings
  • The traditional prejudice that measured how the people of color were put in stereotypical groupings such as gangs and violent criminal members
  • The traditional racial measure of the anti-black people attitudes

This instrument relied on racial policy preferences (Henry & Sears, 2002). The instrument was characterized by items of measuring attitudes that primarily emphasized on the government policies. It is important to know that the two items of measurement asked:

  • If they believed that government programs that are meant for the people of color deserve an increment, reduction or it should remain the same (Henry & Sears, 2002).
  • If the concept of equal opportunities for the people of color and the majority of whites is relevant

Later, other items were incorporated together to determine the racial policy attitude scale for every specific study. The items included:

  • Is it right for the government to help the minority groupings such as the blacks or should they help and support themselves
  • The participants were also asked to give their opinion on the proposition 2009 for the gender affirmative action programs
  • Is it right for the companies that have a history of black discrimination be made to give the black people the priority in job recruitment
  • Is it true that affirmative action enhance job hiring as well as promotions specifically in the university admissions

Unidimensionality or multidimensionality of construct(s), domains(s), or variables(s):

This study rightfully used the multidimensional scale (Henry & Sears, 2002). The instrument gave the priority of measurement to the current symbolic racism scale. The scale used two important criterions for the measurement:

  • The property of specific items. For example:
  1. The assurance that the items didn’t refer to government policies, programs, and activities.
  2. Identified the items that participants wanted to respond to
  3. The research provided its psychometric properties like large item correlation, large variances as well as a good approximation of the normal distribution
  • The shape of the scale in its entirety provided the second criteria. For example:
  1. The completed scale should be shorter and not exceed eight items
  2. The four subscales of symbolic racism should be the same
  3. The scales should also comprise of a limited number of items that provide alternative answers as opposed to the Likert agreement and disagreement.
  4. However, if the Likert items are used, it is vital to ensure the items are balanced to provide an agreement show racial hostilities
  5. It is also essential to ensure that the whole scale is sustainable and reliable

After properly reviewing all the items involved in the measurement criterion, it was agreed that none of these items correlated to the government policies, actions as well as programs (Henry & Sears, 2002).

Following the conclusion of the research, it led to the construction of the eight-item of symbolic racism 2000 scale (SR2K scale) (Henry & Sears, 2002). It is important to recognize that the substances of (SR2K scale) contained two substances from every one of the four subscales (Henry & Sears, 2002). It is also vital to indicate that the items were equal in direction and response of choices. From the eight items, there were five items measured through the Likert scales while the three remaining items were marked to show advanced symbolic racism (Henry & Sears, 2002). The seven of the eight items were also on a four-point scale while one of the substances was on a three-point scale. This scale proved reliable after examination.

Theoretical and empirical foundations of the instrument:

The instrument had the following foundations:

  • Introduction
  • It theorized by the fact that racism against the people of color has never stopped or improved to the advantage of the black people over time
  • The concept of racism is today diverse due to the element of politics in it. There are numerous factors linked to the ongoing evolvement of racism in the U.S (Henry & Sears, 2002). The factors contributing to racism in the U.S facilitated this research. There issues that generally sparked the racism research include:
  1. The American response to George H. W Bush’s supplication of the issue of black criminals
  2. The establishment of the Proposition 2009 crusade in the state of California in 1996 that held that the illegality of affirmative action
  3. The emotional debate over the Confederate symbols on the American state flags
  4. President Clinton’s initiatives on race were anchored on the premise the racism was an unending contentious issue in the country (Henry & Sears, 2002).

Theoretical Framework

  • The theory of the development of a new concept of racism in America
  • The symbolic racism in America refers to the logical belief system with numerous goals: For instance,
  1. The discrimination of the people of color can no longer deny them the opportunity to succeed in America
  2. It the people of color are underprivileged then it is due to their unwillingness to take up the charge for their lives (Henry & Sears, 2002). Lack of responsibility by black people for their lives only lead to bitterness about how they get treated.
  3. The kind of attention that the people of color receive isn’t justified
  • Modern racism. The contemporary racism is comparable to symbolic racism grounded in American society (Henry & Sears, 2002). It is an extension of the old hatred and bigotry reinventing itself in American culture.
  • Racial resentment. It is a theory developed to show how the white people deeply resented the people of color as well as the consistent devaluation of the black people by the majority of whites
  • Subtle racism. It is the new form of prejudice, and it has no difference to blatant racism. Three parts represent it
  1. The defense of the traditions of the people
  2. Exaggeration of the differences between peoples culture especially on religious orientation and beliefs
  3. Repudiation of positive sentiments against the target groups


  1. The purpose and potential use of the instrument:

The goal of this study is to offer the scale of the contemporary symbolic racism especially the ones that can help with the upcoming researches (Henry & Sears, 2002).

  1. To whom the instrument is designed:

The instrument obtained data that targeted different racial groups like the people of color, Latinos, Asians, whites as well as the people of mixed races (Henry & Sears, 2002). The two studies conducted first relied on the random-digit-dial phone reviews of the adult people in the County of Los Angeles (Henry & Sears, 2002). However, the next set of researches was built on questionnaires forms that were given to UCLA students. These students were already enrolled in the psychology class (Henry & Sears, 2002). And the final study relied on the different race related statement was given out in the form of questionnaires to the students that were enrolled in UCLA for the introductory psychology class during the fall semester.

  1. Structure of the instrument:

The instruments assembled from the five tables were expressed in the surveys and then given to the objective groups

  • Table 1: It contained the evocative statistics for the symbolic racism. The objective group here was the white people
  • Table 2: The issue analysis from the white people responses on the issues of symbolic racism
  • Table 3: It contained the constrained factor analysis that demonstrated a blend of the traditional conservatism and attitudes of the white people
  • Table 4: It correlates the multiple regression equations that predict the whites resentment to racial policies
  • Table 5: It contained the expressive statistics for the symbolic racism scale in all the ethnic groupings such as the Asians, Latinos, whites, and people of color

These various surveys provided an opportunity for the items to measure the scale of symbolic racism (Henry & Sears, 2002). It is important to know that the scales improved the existing measures that were put into place in various ways: the content emphasized the emerging racial challenges (Henry & Sears, 2002). It applied the use of items such as Likert as well as the non-Likert formats. The Likert substances were utilized to demonstrate the agreement and disagreement of racial hostility (Henry & Sears, 2002). It is vital to realize that this scale did not possess any reference to government policies

  1. Length of the instrument, including some items:

The instrument had eight substances lifted from the surveys

  1. Subscales within the instrument (if applicable

This instrument did not contain any subscales, so it is not applicable

  1. The format of the instrument:

This instrument was separated into eight open-ended queries, and those responding to the questions required making their choice from any of the four questions


  • The instrument of the administrative process

This particular instrument was valid since it accurately reflected the mixture of racial prejudice as well as the American political conservatism (Henry & Sears, 2002). The prediction that white people resent racial policies was also found to be valid. However, when the general opinion from both the public and the students were compared, an unexpected feature was discovered (Henry & Sears, 2002). In the beginning, the researchers thought that adult whites would demonstrate a clear attitude on race based on prejudice then the college students (Henry & Sears, 2002). However, the adult whites had higher opinion level and when it came to the white college students; the difference in the scale of response was not significant (Henry & Sears, 2002). It shows that the scale of this instrument  administered to the educated and uneducated white adult people

  • Necessary administrator qualifications and training:

This information was never provided, so it is not applicable

  • Scoring procedures of the instrument:

It is vital to know that this instrument conducted five studies using diverse races as their objective group (Henry & Sears, 2002). The study presented numerous open-ended queries connected to the issues of race in the earlier on as well as in the upcoming studies. The data was obtained, and the scale was set to help in the measurement of the magnitude of symbolic racism in America.

  • Type of scoring or scaling (availability of scoring keys and scoring services, subscale, factor, or dimension scores):

It is important to know that this scale used the Likert scales to analyze data to see the scale of symbolic racism in America


  • Evidence of reliability (include type(s) and statistic(s) as appropriate

This instrument was found as unreliable (Henry & Sears, 2002). The research covered three years to find out different races response or ideas on racism. It is vital to realize that the research came out with the finding that symbolic racism was lower among the people of color when compared to other racial groupings such as the whites, Latinos, and Asians (Henry & Sears, 2002). The statistics found out that uneducated blacks had a score of 36%; educated blacks had a score of 24%. It proved the impact of education on the issues of racial biasness (Henry & Sears, 2002). The uneducated people from all the racial grouping showed a higher number of racial prejudice as compared to the educated guys from the racial groupings. For instance, the uneducated whites had a score of 77% and educated whites had a score of 79% (Henry & Sears, 2002). The research found out that the white people’s perception and attitude on race have not changed over time and even education does little if not nothing.

  • Adequacy of validity evidence to support potential uses of the instrument:

This instrument did a lot to measure the response of different racial groupings. It found out that every race had their ideas and opinions on race and that these ideas almost remained the same even with the aspect of education

Multicultural Application

  • Analysis of the multicultural application of the instrument (addressing research on the multicultural comparison, or limitations of generalizability based on a lack of multicultural data):

In this instrument, those who participated came from diverse racial groupings (Henry & Sears, 2002). For instance, it is essential to know that the students who participated came from different ethnic and racial backgrounds hence causing some biasness to the data. The responses of the whites, Latinos, blacks as well as Asians reflected different opinions (Henry & Sears, 2002). It is important to know that this difference in opinion about racial prejudice is influenced by traditional values and culture of an ethnic group or race.

Summary evaluation and critique

  • Strengths and limitations of the instrument:

This instrument had no substantial restrictions

  • Critique of the use of the instrument in both an applied and research context:

The instrument demonstrated that the problematic issues shown in the study got solved (Henry & Sears, 2002). The aspect of symbolic racism led to the emergence of diverse beliefs and opinions that every ethnic hold against each other.





Henry, P. J. and Sears, D. O.  (2002). The symbolic racism 2000 scale.  Political Psychology,

23, 253-283.