Masters Thesis

Development and Validation of an Intellectual Attraction Scale for Use in the College Classroom

The purpose of this thesis was twofold. The first purpose was to develop a valid and reliable measure for intellectual attraction for use in the context of higher education. Intellectual attraction is conceptualized as the desire to engage in interaction with an instructor because of what or how he or she thinks about topics related to a course. The second purpose was to determine whether the current three-factor model for interpersonal attraction could be improved with the addition of a fourth factor. These purposes were addressed in three pilot studies and one experiment. First, the results of exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses provide partial support for the 12-item Intellectual Attraction Scale. Positive correlations with student intellectual stimulation provided evidence of concurrent validity. Negative correlations with class related boredom provided evidence of discriminant validity. Evidence for the predictive validity of the measure was not obtained as the measure was not related to students’ expressed academic concern. Second, the results of a confirmatory factor analyses revealed that neither the three-factor model nor the four-factor model of interpersonal attraction fit the data well. However, the four-factor model was marginally better than the three-factor model. Collectively, these results provide support for the Intellectual Attraction Scale as a reliable and valid measure of intellectual attraction for use in the context of higher education. Future research should continue to explore its relationship with interpersonal attraction overall.

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