Activism Orientation Scale (AOS)

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Author of Tool: 

Corning, A. F., & Myers, D. J.

Key references: 

Corning, A. F., & Myers, D. J. (2002).  Individual orientation toward engagement in social action. Political Psychology, 23(4), 703-729.

Primary use / Purpose: 

Assesses individuals’ propensity to engage in social action.


The issue of how an activist identity develops is one of the core issues in social psychology and social movement research. Because of problems in the measurement of individuals’ propensities to engage in social action, however, findings in this area are often equivocal, and cross-study comparisons and conclusions are difficult to draw. Hence authors developed the Activism Orientation Scale (AOS) to assess individuals’ propensities to engage in social action. 


This scale is theoretically-grounded and demonstrates sound psychometric properties, and allows assessment of activist propensity across a wide continuum of social action behaviors, ideological positions, and movement issues. Additionally, the broad applicability of the AOS allows for its use by researchers, activists, and policymakers.



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