Background: Absorption is most commonly measured by the 34-item Tellegen Absorption Scale (TAS). Despite the widespread use of TAS, relatively few studies focus on the detailed psychometric properties of the instrument (e.g. factor structure, internal consistency of subscales). Aims: Our study focus on the structure of absorption, to investigate the internal structure of the TAS (single latent dimension or multidimensional) and the reliability of the scale(s). We also investigated how the 5-point Likert scale and the dichotomous response formats affect the structural validity of the TAS and the internal homogeneity of its scales. Methods: A total of 1,935 students completed the Likert-type response format of TAS, and 399 the original dichotomous response format of TAS. The structures of the TAS was examined by confirmatory (e.g., single-factor model, model with second-order factor, bifactor model) and exploratory factor analysis and parallel-analysis. The internal consistencies were calculated not only in the conventional way (e.g. Cronbach-alpha) but also in the controlling of the general factor (hierarchical omega, explained common variance). Results: Across all three versions (original 34-item by 5-point Likert scale, and dichotomous response format, and brief 23-item TAS by 5-point Likert Scale format) results of bifactor analyses and model-based reliability estimates provided evidence for the calculation and interpretation of the total score as a measure of single latent dimension of absorption, but did not support the use of individual subscales. To determine the number of factors that can be applied, parallel-analysis provided a good estimation of the one-dimensional structure of both the 5-point Likert scale and the dichotomous response format of TAS. Conclusions: Our results confirm that absorption can be considered as a single latent psychological variable and on the other hand it draws attention to the limitations of traditional statistical methods.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health