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Alfred de Grazia:


Technique for the Relating of
Social Responsibility to Life-Situations (1949)

The aim of the five-point scale is to allow ordinarily intelligent judges to record their estimates of the objective standing of a subject with reference to his typical life-situations and objective conditions of tolerance, conscience, conformity, awareness of interdependence, awareness of responsibility for personal behavior, and individual value system. the typical life situations are the family, occupation, religion, politics, informal social group-life, and informal non-group life. The conditions of social responsibility, like the life-situations, number six (Later raised to seven by the introduction on an "activity-persistence" dimension, as indicated later in this paragraph.) and have been defined in an earlier memorandum; these definitions must be capable of maximum clarity, measurability, and understanding to the judges within five levels of distinction. They must also be meaningful definitions in the sense that they are the major dimensions of what we want to call social responsibility. Perhaps others should be added; there occur to me at this time as additional dimensions: decisiveness (time elapsed between the presentation of a situation and its evaluative positioning within the personality) and wilfulness (the intensity with which a person insists on the applicability of his decision to the persons or groups concerned). Whatever the new definitions take in or the old discarded, the group probably ought to discuss further the completeness of our dimensions.

It is contemplated that the scaling will fall into place in a series of steps in the study that will occur as follows:

1.The subject will be stratified by objective criteria of type of dwelling, occupation, income, education, religion, and ethnic origin.

2.The subject will be interviewed and asked 36 (or 72) questions, each question constituting a combination of dimension of responsibility and a life-situation. Free answers will be given and recorded.

3.A determined number of judges (conceivably the same sample of subjects could be employed) will rate the subject on a five-point scale.

4.Each subject will then have 36 (or 72) scores interrelating life situations (6?) with the defined dimensions of social responsibility (also 6?)

5.The subjects will then be stratified and their scores compared by strata.

The objective of each question in step 2 will be to expose the subject to remarks calculated to elicit from him a response relevant to grading him on the six responsibility dimensions in a particular life situation. The marking of the subject's positions on the scale (with scale will be the representation of extreme positions with reference to the defined dimension) will not be based on the contents of the question but on the judge's translation of the repay into the five point objective scale.

The technical question of greatest import is: Can a free response to a single (or double) stimulating question strike into the center of a subject's position on the safe situation/ responsibility dimension situations? The group therefore ought to discuss 1) What can be done beforehand to increase this likelihood? and 2) What can be done afterwards to determine whether this has occurred?

Validated and reliable scores, if attained, can be used to transform the conceptual definitions of responsibility dimensions into empirical operational definitions of the following type: "Awareness of responsibility for personal behavior is greater than awareness of interdependence when conscience and tolerance are over X and individual values center on power."

Examples of questions that might be used:

1.Family/tolerance: Your sister (brother) is unmarried. She has two chances, to marry Smith who has never married before and Brown who has divorced his first wife. Would you have any preference as to whom she ought to be married? Explain your answer.

2.F/conscience: Did you ever win out over your family on some big point that meant a lot to you? How did you feel afterwards?

3.F/conformity: Did your family do things together? Explain.

4.F/Aw of Inter.: What does a child owe its parents?

5.F/ARPBeh: Do you feel that parents behavior is the result of their children's acts? How?

6.F/IVS: What qualities would you have wanted your father to possess more of?

7.Occupation/tolerance: Mr. White is machine worker. Mr. Brown is an accountant. Would you ordinarily expect one to be more honest than the other? Explain.

8.O/conscience: Do you believe in working harder for several days after being absent from work?

9.O/conformity: Do you think that your working group or work association ought to set the pace for individuals to follow?

10.O/AofI: Describe your job.

11.O/ARPB: Does the success or failure of your place of work depend to any extent on your efforts?

12.O/IVS: What quality would you like to have more of in your daily work?

13.Rel/tolerance: If you learn that Mr. Brown has the same religion as you, do you feel you can say something about Mr. Brown as a person?

14.R/conscience: It is said that every man must do penance when be breaks the laws of his religion. How do you feel after you break a rule of your religion?

15.R/conformity: Do you observe religious customs and observances like most of your religious group?

16.R/AI: Do you believe it is true that God watches over the acts of all men - white, red, brown?

17.R/ARPB: it is true that when one sins, his sins revisit him in greatest measure?

18.R/IVS: Of all the descriptions of heaven you've heard, what features about it would be most desirable to you?

19.Pol/tol: Mr. Jones is a Democrat while Mr. Smith is a Republican. Knowing this fact, is there anything you can say about the two men? With which one would you prefer to associate?

20.P/con: Do you feel any remorse when you fail to vote? Do you feel the same way when you neglect to contribute to a community chest drive?

21.P/conform: Are third parties necessary in the US. Have you ever supported them?

22.P/AI: How would you advise a new voter to make up his mind how to vote?

23.P/ARPB: Is it true that a people gets the kind of government it deserves?

24.P/IVS: What can the government do to make men happy?

25.Social Contact Organs/tol: If you are thinking of asking somebody to join your club, what kind of a person do you look for?

26.SC/consc. When you miss a few meetings of a club to which you belong, how do you feel about it?

27.SC/conf. Do you like clubs or associations where people have a lot in common or where there are all sorts of different people?

28.SC/AI: Should clubs be formed to have fun or to do things for people?

29.SC/ARPB: Do you kind that belonging to a club lets you do things that you would not do on your own responsibility?

30.SC/IVS: What do you get most of in the way of enjoyment from belonging to a club or organization?

31.ISL/tol: Would you describe a couple of your closest friends?

32.ISL/consc: When you have to turn down a friend who wants you to do him a favor, how do you feel about it?

33.ISL/conf.: How do you spend your leisure time? Do you have any hobbies?

34.ISL/AI: Do you have more friends than acquaintances or more acquaintances than friends?

35.ISL/ARPB: What do you think of the saying: A man has as many friends as he deserves?

36.ISL/IVS: What do you believe are the most important things one gets out of friendship?


a.Tolerance = The ascription to a previously unknown individual of group qualities without moral inferences relative to said particular individual.

b.Conscience = The ascription to the self of psychic or physical discomfort in connection with or after an act.

c.Conformity = An act possession high modal conformity with all acts of objectively similar kind, direction, and intensity.

d.Awareness of interdependence = the ascription of effects to one's act extending to human areas of defined remoteness from the self.

e.Awareness of responsibility for personal behavior = the ratio of "Imputations of the effects of one's act to oneself".

f.Individual values system = The predominant, positively affected, prospective situations in which a person visualizes himself, with their inter-rated priorities. (Weak to Strong, Few to Many).

Strata and Life Situations with reference to:

a. Tolerance

1.Film strip plus questionnaire


3.Photographs plus interview

4.Questions post reading of designed essays previously coded by content analysis

5.Report on interviewer (allegedly student but in fact a stereotyped individual)

b. Conscience

1 3 4

6.Minnesota Multiphasic

7.Interview in re life situations apropos state of conscience


9.Interview of others who interact in his life situations


10.Scale subject on a continuum in reference to modality of typical life situation acts of sample of population

11.Using 1,2,3,4, question subject on the typicality of acts witnessed.

d.Awareness of Interdependence

12.Place subject on continuum of subjects on judgments as to effects of acts of others in typical life situations depicted by media as in 1,2,3,4.

13.Same as 12 for own acts.

e.Awareness of Responsibility for Personal Behavior

14.Imputations of effects of other's acts on subject as per 12.

15.Same as 14 for own acts.

f.Individual Values Systems

15.Leisure time "dream castles" by value categories arrived at post-data.

16.Attention measure of subject in reference to news-items referring to values established in 15.

17.Positioning of subject with reference to graded situations representing cross-conflicts of values in 15.

18.Positioning of subject with reference to his proposed solution of value-conflicts among life-situations.


Note to interviewer:

Try not to supplement these questions with others. Allow respondent to talk himself out of any question. Aim at a minimum 10 sentence answer to each question, begin the interview along the following lines: explain our general interest in how people live; explain that full, free and frank answers are needed. Reassure respondent about the plentiful time and wire tape.

1.Do you think that the people you work with should have something to say about how you do your work? (If "yes"), why or to what extent? Why not? (Or "to what extent?")

2.Would you please describe your work in detail?

3.Are certain kinds of occupations more honest that others? What kinds? Why?

4.What sort of thing would you like to have more of in your daily work? Why?

5.Does the success or failure of your place of work depend to any extent on your own efforts?

6.Have you ever quit a task or gotten disgusted because your advice was not taken? (If no, "would you ever, do you think?") Explain in detail.

7.How do you make good after being absent from work for several days?

8.Do you like clubs or associations where people have a lot in common or where there are all sorts of different people? Why is that?

9.Should clubs be formed to have fun or to do things for people?

10.If you are thinking of asking somebody to join your club, what kind of a person do you look for?

11.What do you get, in the way of enjoyment, out of belonging to a club or association?

12.If you belong to any club or association, which is the one you like best? Why?

13.Do you like clubs that do things or groups that don't do anything very active?

14.How do you feel after missing a few meetings of a club to which you belong?

15.Do you observe religious customs and holidays like others of your belief? How so?

16.What is meant, do you think, by the words "God, our Father?"

17.If you learn that a certain man has the same religion as you, do you feel you can say something about him as a person?

18.Of all the descriptions of heaven you've heard, what features about it would be most desirable in your mind?

19.Is it true that when one sins, his sins are revisited upon him in greatest measure?

20.Have you ever tried to convert people to your point of view on religion? What happened?

21.It is said that every man must pay for his sins. How do you feel after you break a religious or moral rule?

22.Have you ever supported a third party rather than the Democratic or Republican party? Why is that?

23.How would you advise a new voter to make up his mind how to vote?

24.With whom would you prefer to associate aboard a ship, a fellow-passenger who is an Englishman or one who is an American? Why?

25.What can the government do to make men happy?

26.What does belonging to a community involve in the way of responsibilities?

27.Have you ever been active in the government or politics? Please describe your experience in detail.

28.Do you feel remorseful after you fail to vote? Or after you fail to make a correct statement in some question on your income tax form?

29.Did your family do many things together? What did they do together?

30.What should members of a family do for each other?

31.Would you rather your (sister) brother married a divorced person or one who had never before been married? Why?

33.How would you like your children to think of you?

34.Who makes the decisions in your family? Why is that?

35.Did you ever win out over your family or deceive them on some big point that meant a lot to you? How did you feel afterwards?

36.How do you spend your leisure time? Please explain in detail.

37.How far can you go in trusting friends and other people?

38.Would you describe your two closest friends in as great a detail as is possible?

39.What do you look for in making new friendships?

40.Taking one by one your three best friends, what is it, do you think, that each one likes about you?

41.What sorts of things do you do with your friends when you are together?

42.When you have to hold out on a friend or turn him down on a favor, how do you feel?

Instructions for Rating of the


1.You are judging the verbal (or typed) responses to items of a person on a five-place scale, according to where you believe his attitude or behavior would fall.

2.Do not use any criteria for rating the response to an item except those explicitly stated in the definition of each point of the scale.

3.Ideas of the respondent which you may regard as objectionable need not necessarily be so rated by the criteria of this schedule.

4.Do not consult anyone in making your judgments.

5.In rating a person on a particular item, disregard every other item. Many ratings become valueless because the judge rates all items by some general theory or knowledge of the person.

6.When you have satisfied yourself that a person belongs at the point,1,2,3, or 5 on the scale, mark a cross (X) over the point.

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