The novelty of this study is to propose multidimensional item response theory (IRT) models for the investigation of heterogeneity in residents’ perceptions and attitudes toward the tourism industry. By following the social exchange theory, a sample of residents in the Romagna area (Italy) were invited to declare their agreement to some aspects related to benefits and costs of the tourism industry in 2010. The analysis suggests that the additive IRT model with two kind of latent variables (viz. the general latent trait measuring attitude toward tourism and two specific latent traits measuring perceptions on benefits and costs of tourism) fits the data adequately. Moreover, the estimated scores show that the tourism features are perceived differently by the residents, supporting the hypothesis that perceptions and attitudes change with regard to the individuals’ characteristics. Finally, the analysis proposes how the parameters of the IRT models can be interpreted in this new context.
Quality & Quantity – Springer Journals
Published: Apr 4, 2014
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