The measurement and structure of human rights attitudes

Jeannette Diaz-Veizades, Keith F. Widaman, Todd D. Little, Katherine W. Gibbs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations


To investigate the structure of attitudes toward human rights, the authors developed the Human Rights Questionnaire (HRQ) and administered it to two North American samples; the first sample included 365 college students, and the second included 212 college students and 42 adults. Exploratory factor analysis was performed on the data from the first sample, and four factors were extracted and rotated: Social Security, Civilian Constraint, Equality, and Privacy. This exploratory factor analysis was validated on the second sample, and the factor structures were compared across the two samples. Four subscales were created from the four factors; these subscales were then correlated with measures of nationalism, patriotism, internationalism, belief in world government, and support for civil liberties. Validity of the four human rights subscales was ascertained, and differences in human rights attitudes across demographic groups, such as gender and political affiliation, were tested. Results are discussed in light of existing conceptualizations regarding human rights and suggestions for future research are made.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)313-328
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Social Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1995


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