Affective item (definition)

An affective item is a question which asks a person to report her or his attitude towards a particular subject, or, perhaps, her or his opinion of a certain state of affairs. "Rating scales" use affective items.


Affective item responses are frequently indicated on a Likert scale, from strongly disagree to strongly agree.  Another popular format for affective items is the "semantic differential".


Affective items may use any response codes; a response code set of {1,2,3,4,5} is the default -- to specify other responses, an Res=() declaration is used on the *sub line in the CCs worksheet.


Affective items differ from cognitive items in that they do not have a single correct, or best, answer.  On an affective item, Lertap awards points for each possible response to the item.  For example, the "strongly agree" response might be scored as 5 points, while "strongly disagree" may be scored as just a single point.  *mws lines may be used in the CCs worksheet to precisely control how Lertap scores affective items.


Unanswered affective items, often said to constitute "missing data" in this document, will generally be scored via Lertap's MDO substitution.  To defeat MDO, the MDO control word is used on a *sub line in the CCs worksheet.  More precise control over the scoring of unanswered affective items is achieved by using a *mws line with an other= assignment at the end.