Perceived Social Inequity Scale (PSIS-W)

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Author of Tool: 

Corning, A. F.

Key references: 

Corning, A. F. (2000). Assessing perceived social inequity: A relative deprivation framework. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 78, 463-477.

Primary use / Purpose: 

Assesses womens’ perceptions of their social inequality; the discrepancy between their social situation in relation to that of others.


The Perceived Social Inequality Scale for women (PSIS-W) is grounded in the theoretical framework of relative deprivation theory (a more specified variant of social comparison theory) which states that discontent results from recognition of an unfair discrepancy between one’s own situation and that of others. Factor analyses of the PSIS-W conducted with samples of college women indicated the presence of six factors: Multiple Roles, Career Competence, Career Encouragement, Physical Appearance, Harassment/Assault, and Academic Role Models.


Test-retest reliability of the resulting 26-item scale was strong over both 1- and 4-month intervals and the construct validity of the scale is supported by its hypothesized relationships to measures of alienation, powerlessness, social isolation, belief in a just world, traditional and contemporary attitudes toward women, sexual harassment and victimization, and stress.



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