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NASP Home NASP Publications School Psychology Review (SPR) Volume 25 Issue 1 (1996) The Use of Multidimensional Scaling i...
Volume 25, Issue 1 (1996)

The Use of Multidimensional Scaling in the Cognitive Mapping of Cultural Difference Judgments

pp. 77—93

Abstract: Multidimensional scaling (MDS) is described as a useful technique for investigating school psychology research questions. A study is described that illustrates the application of non-metric weighted MDS methods in constructing cognitive maps of subjects’ cultural difference judgments among 11 fictitious portraits of lo-year-old male children. The portraits varied according to selected racial (ethnic), social class, language, and place of residence characteristics. An available sample of school psychology graduate students and practitioners (N = 26) and a larger comparison sample consisting primarily of college-age students (N = 264) participated as subjects in the study Three dimensions were extracted from the MDS: High versus Low SES (Dimension 1); Domestic versus Foreign Residence (Dimension 2), and Hispanic/ Caucasian versus Black Racial Group (Dimension 3). The contribution of each of the three dimensions to the total variance in the school psychology sample’s data was SO%, 14%, and 3%, respectively Implications of the findings for a theory of cultural difference perceptions is discussed. and potential applications of MDS to school psychology research are briefly described.

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