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Alternative Measures of Political Tolerance: Must Tolerance be "Least-Liked"?

James L. Gibson
American Journal of Political Science
Vol. 36, No. 2 (May, 1992), pp. 560-577
DOI: 10.2307/2111491
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2111491
Page Count: 18
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Alternative Measures of Political Tolerance: Must Tolerance be "Least-Liked"?
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Abstract

In this article I consider how to measure political intolerance. The traditional Stouffer-based measure of intolerance is compared to the Sullivan, Piereson, and Marcus "least-liked" measure using data from a national survey. While the alternative measures of intolerance are not strongly intercorrelated, apparently the lack of correlation is largely a function of random measurement error. This conclusion is based on the empirical finding that the traditional predictors of intolerance perform very similarly irrespective of which of the tolerance measures is used. Since substantive conclusions about the origins of intolerance are insensitive to the index employed, I argue that future tolerance research can profitably utilize either measurement approach.

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