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Cross-Validation of Representational Structures Using the Attribute-Challenge Technique and the Test of Context Independence: The Social Representation of Health

Abstract : In connection with the structural approach of social representations, Lo Monaco, Lheureux, and Halimi-Falkowicz (2008) showed that the Test of Context Independence (TCI) allows to find the same central core components as those retrieved with the Attribute-Challenge Technique (ACT, Moliner, 1989, 2002). As this study was carried out on two ‘unavoidable’ objects of study of the structural approach (higher education and the ideal group), we aimed to carry out a cross-validation of the representational structure of an object of representation that had never been studied from a structural perspective (i.e., health). An initial study (N = 223) was conducted in order to compare structural diagnoses highlighted by the ACT (N = 105) and the TCI (N = 118). Contrary to Lo Monaco et al. (2008), no element emerged as central using the ACT while the TCI uncovered five central elements (i.e., healthy lifestyle, food, essentiality, prevention, and equilibrium). To ensure that results weren’t due to a methodological artefact (misunderstanding of items and phrasing effect), a second study was conducted (N = 123). Fifty-two par-ticipants completed the ACT and 71 participants to the TCI. In spite of the methodological changes, as in Study 1, no central elements were highlighted by the ACT, whereas three elements (i.e., healthy lifestyle, food, and equilibrium) were found to form the central core by using the TCI. These results were discussed by focusing on the link between the characteristics of the methods used to study the social representa-tions and the characteristics of the objects studied.
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Marie-Anastasie Aim, Thibaut Decarsin, Inna Bovina, Lionel Dany. Cross-Validation of Representational Structures Using the Attribute-Challenge Technique and the Test of Context Independence: The Social Representation of Health. International Review of Social Psychology, Ubiquity Press 2018, 31 (1), ⟨10.5334/irsp.87⟩. ⟨hal-02527770⟩

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