Psychometrically and qualitatively validating a cross-national cumulative measure of fear-based xenophobia

C.G. van der Veer, R. Ommundsen, O. Yakushko, L.E.A. Higler, S. Woelders, K.A. Hagen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The article reports the results of a Mokken Scale Procedure (MSP) developing a hierarchical cross-national scale to measure xenophobia, and a qualitative validation of this scale. A pool of 30 xenophobic scale items were collected from several sources and edited according to established unidimensional criteria. The survey was administered to 608 undergraduate students in the USA, 193 undergraduate students in the Netherlands, and 303 undergraduate students in Norway. Fourteen scale statements measuring perceived threat or fear and meeting the criteria of the Stereotype Content Model (e.g., Fiske, Cuddy, & Glick 2006) were selected for further analysis. A separate item analysis and subsequently MSP analysis yielded a cumulative scale with the same five items for each of the three samples meeting criteria for homogeneity in all samples with H >.40. The result, a cross-national 5-item scale measuring fear-based xenophobia, was tested by means of the Three-step Test-Interview (Hak, Van der Veer and Jansen 2008) with 10 students in The Netherlands and 10 students in Norway. The analysis of these qualitative interviews shows that individual respondents’ criteria for the ranking of the scale items strongly depend on the way immigrants are framed. Ranking according to different levels of fear turned out to be only one criterion out of several possible ones used by individual respondents.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1429-1444
Number of pages16
JournalQuality and Quantity
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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