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Construction and validation of a psychometric scale to assess extension agents’ beliefs about extension and innovation

Agricultural Communications Documentation Center (ACDC)
Landini, Fernando (main author), Beramendi, Maite (author), University of La Cuenca del Plata Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET) School of Psychology, University of Buenos Aires
Online journal article
Publication Date:
Argentina: Taylor and Francis
Agricultural Communications Documentation Center, Funk Library, University of Illinois
Subject Term:
attitudes, extension, extension agents, extension education, extension information, extension programs, extension research, innovations, questionnaires, rural communities, rural development, beliefs, Argentina (Latin America; South America), measurement, scale, psychometric, methodology, good fit, chi-square
18 pages, online journal article, Purpose This article aims at designing and validating a psychometric scale to assess extensionists’ and advisors’ beliefs about extension and innovation. Design/Methodology/approach The scale was developed by drawing upon results from a previous empirical research as well as insights from a literature review on extension and innovation approaches. The theoretical framework used to write the items was validated by 12 international experts from 11 countries. 608 Argentine extension workers completed the questionnaire. Replies were analysed using Exploratory and Confirmatory Factor Analysis. Findings The scale has a good fit and satisfactory level of internal consistency. Five factors were identified: Dialogue and horizontal coordination; Transfer of technology; Blame on farmers; Participatory, farmer-led extension; and Self-critical attitude. Practical implications The scale has multiple and different uses, including research, theory development, institutional practice, diagnosis, and teaching. Theoretical implications Results show that a horizontal, facilitative extension approach shares a common epistemology, as well as underlying values and assumptions, with territorial development and with an innovation systems perspective, and that both contrast with a traditional transfer of technology approach. Nonetheless, practitioners would not tend to see these two contrasting perspectives as contradictory but as complementary. Originality/Value The scale is the first validated psychometric instrument, based on an ample theoretical framework, that allows for a quantitative assessment of beliefs about extension and innovation.