Eike Mark Rinke
A general survey measure of individual listening styles: Short form of the Listening Styles Profile-Revised (LSP-R8)

71st Annual Conference of the American Association for Public Opinion Research, Austin, TX, May 12th to May 15th, 2016

An 8-item short form of the Listening Styles Profile-Revised (LSP-R8) for use in general population surveys is proposed. The use of survey measures of citizens’ political talk and conversation networks has been a staple of political communication research for decades (e.g., Lazarsfeld, Berelson, & Gaudet, 1944) and some of the most productive recent debates in political science have been sparked by findings based on survey measures of political talk (e.g., Mutz, 2006). Their use continues to inform various productive line of research. In this methodological brief, I present a new scale for use in general surveys intended to allow for the measurement of an as yet understudied aspect of political talk: citizens’ general listening dispositions. The best-validated measure of these dispositions, the Listening Styles Profile-Revised (LSP-R), measures an individual’s general disposition to: (a) listen to understand emotions and connect with others (relational listening); (b) withhold judgment and consider all sides of an issue before responding (analytical listening); (c) focus on inconsistencies and errors during conversations (critical listening); and (d) see listening as a transaction aimed at solving concrete problems (task-oriented listening). However, the original 16-item self-report measure (LSP-16, Watson et al., 1995) and the revised 24-item scale (LSP-R, Bodie, Worthington, & Gearhart, 2013) is obviously too lengthy for use in general population surveys. The methodological brief reports the first successful validation of an adapted short version of the LSP. The proposed LSP-R8 is based on LSP-R items and was validated in a two-wave panel study of German undergraduate students (Nt1 = 176; Nt2 = 165; N t1&2 = 115). Tests of internal consistency reliability, test-retest reliability (four-week interval), and confirmatory factor analyses of the theoretical four-factor measurement model produced strong validity evidence for the LSP-R8, which is about 60% more economic in terms of completion time than the LSP-R.