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Social Indicators Research

, Volume 79, Issue 3, pp 485–502 | Cite as

Do We Need to Weight Item Satisfaction by Item Importance? A Perspective from Locke’s Range-Of-Affect Hypothesis

  • Chia-Huei Wu
  • Grace YaoEmail author
Article

Abstract

Importance weighting is a common idea in quality of life (QOL) measurement. Based on the common idea that important domains should have more contributions to individuals’ QOL total score, the weighting procedure of multiplying item satisfaction by item importance was adopted in many QOL instruments. However, in Locke’s [1969, Organizational Behavior and Human Performance 4, pp. 309–336; 1976, in: M.D. Dunnette (eds.), Handbook of Industrial and Organizational Psychology (Rand McNally, Chicago), pp. 1297–1343] range-of-affect hypothesis, he indicated that the satisfaction evaluation of an item was determined by the have–want discrepancy, importance and their interaction (discrepancy × importance), implying that item satisfaction has incorporated the judgment of item importance, therefore, weighting an item satisfaction score with an item importance score is unnecessary. The purpose of this study was to examine the range-of-affect hypothesis in the context of QOL research. Three hundred and thirty two undergraduate students at National Taiwan University (NTU) participated in the study. Item satisfaction, importance and perceived have–want discrepancy were measured for 12 different life-area items. Global life satisfaction was measured as well. Regression analysis results showed that item importance and perceived have–want discrepancy have a significant interaction effect on item satisfaction, supporting Locke’s range-of-affect hypothesis. In addition, regression analysis results also showed that item importance and item satisfaction did not have a significant interaction effect on global satisfaction, suggesting that weighting item satisfaction score by item importance value does not have advantages in predicting global satisfaction. In a summary, the findings revealed that item satisfaction has incorporated the judgment of item importance, and, thus, the procedure of importance weighting on item satisfaction is unnecessary.

Key words

importance quality of life satisfaction weighting 

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Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyNational Taiwan UniversityTaipeiTaiwan

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