Use of the Cognitive Interview to Enhance Instrument Validity
This research study aims to present the process and results of content validity testing of the Authentic Leadership Questionnaire (ALQ) by the cognitive interview method. Two factors often compounding concerns over instrument validity are a frequently targeted audience and instrument administration to a new sample of respondents. While the ALQ has been validated in samples of expert professionals, psychometric data among the current generation of senior nursing students graduating during the 2017-2018 academic year is not available. One strategy to alleviate these concerns is to enhance instrument validity, thereby asking the right questions in order to obtain the right data and eliminate the need for further assessment. The cognitive interview is a theoretically-based technique used to examine the cognitive process that occurs when a respondent completes an instrument consisting of a series of questions or problems. This study uses the cognitive interview method as a means to assess the validity of the ALQ among a sample of nursing students during the Fall semester of 2017. The results demonstrate that lexical changes over time reduce the comprehensibility of some items and create barriers to achieving item objectives. Another finding is incongruence between the cognitive formulation of responses with the provided item-response options. Further testing is recommended to assess reliability of the revised ALQ.
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