UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Development and testing of a field instrument for research into the study of attitudes and preferences involved in the purchase of homes Sim, Ah Ba


The object of the thesis was to develop a field instrument for the determination of aesthetic tastes and preferences among various social groups. The instrument has been developed for use in research on attitudes and preferences involved in the purchase of homes. The instrument was constructed as a visual attitude scale, consisting of three house photographs graduated along a social class continuum to represent the lower, middle, and upper scale categories; and will be developed on the assumption that people can consistently discriminate among house photographs on the basis of perceived social class of occupant families. The three house photographs were derived from a rating process in the field which used 60 respondents to rate a set of 30 carefully selected house photographs among three social class categories. The house photographs associated most with each of the three categories were selected to represent each social stratum in the visual attitude scale. Use of the visual attitude scale in conjunction with the Semantic Differential and open-end questions was proposed as a means to determine differences in aesthetic tastes and preferences and, also, other attitudes involved in the decision making process to buy a home. The actual utility and validity of the field instrument cannot be established here, but must be the object of further research. The study did reveal, however, a high degree of consistency of ratings by respondents from different social class backgrounds and, therefore, provided face validation for the assumptions underlying the construction of the field instrument.

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