Guidelines for Choosing between Multi-Item and Single-Item Scales for Construct Measurement: A Predictive Validity Perspective

A Diamantopoulos, M Sarstedt, Christoph Fuchs, S Kaiser, P Wilczynski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

969 Citations (Scopus)
61 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Establishing predictive validity of measures is a major concern in marketing research. This paper investigates the conditions favoring the use of single items versus multi-item scales in terms of predictive validity. A series of complementary studies reveals that the predictive validity of single items varies considerably across different (concrete) constructs and stimuli objects. In an attempt to explain the observed instability, a comprehensive simulation study is conducted aimed at identifying the influence of different factors on the predictive validity of single versus multiitem measures. These include the average inter-item correlations in the predictor and criterion constructs, the number of items measuring these constructs, as well as the correlation patterns of multiple and single items between the predictor and criterion constructs. The simulation results show that, undermost conditions typically encountered in practical applications, multi-item scales clearly outperform single items in terms of predictive validity. Only under very specific conditions do single items perform equally well as multi-item scales. Therefore, the use of single-item measures in empirical research should be approached with caution, and the use of such measures should be limited to special circumstances.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)434-449
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of the Academy of Marketing Science
Volume40
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Guidelines for Choosing between Multi-Item and Single-Item Scales for Construct Measurement: A Predictive Validity Perspective'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this