A ‘trilemma’ procedure is introduced for collecting ‘dominance data’ (i.e. rankings of a set of items along a scale of relevance, preference, etc.). Trilemmas are three-way forced choices where the three items comprising each trilemma are selected on the basis of a multidimensional scaling solution (MDS) for the item set, ensuring that each choice is as stark and informative as possible. A questionnaire designed on this principle is easily understood and rapidly administered. The data are convenient to record and show less fluctuation among informants than existing techniques. We demonstrate the procedure with a set of 45 short generalisations about behaviour, designed for assessing child attachment. A three-dimensional ‘map’ of these items was obtained by applying MDS to multiple sets of similarity data. The same structure emerged from English-language and Japanese translations of the items. Thirty trilemmas based on this map were used to rank the items by degree of association with the Japanese concept of amae, characterising the concept in terms of its behavioural correlates.
Quality & Quantity – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 2, 2005
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