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Measuring the Desire for Control: a Spanish Version of Burger and Cooper's Scale

  • Jesús María De Miguel Calvo (a1), Noemy Martín Sanz (a1), Iván Sánchez-Iglesias (a2) and Miguel Ángel Ruiz Díaz (a1)


The following study will present findings on the validity of the adaptation of the Burger and Cooper's Desirability of Control Scale into Spanish. Two samples are present: the first involving 1,999 people to study their psychometric properties. In the second sample, 111 people were included to estimate test/ retest reliability. Cultural adaptation was performed using the translation & back-translation method. Item analysis, internal consistency and test/re-test reliability were assessed, then evidence of the validity of the internal structure was determined by using exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis. Subject recruitment was performed to gather the 1,999 subjects stratified by age, gender quotas as designed in the sampling plan. Of the subjects, 51% were female, average age of 45 years old (SD = 17.5). All items from the original scale were understood correctly, while five items presented ceiling effect. Cronbach's alpha = .736 and a test-retest correlation r = .713 were obtained. The factor structure indicated the presence of four dimensions: forecast, autonomy, power and influence and reactance which were reassured in the confirmatory analysis (x2/df = 4.805, CFI =.932, TLI =.954, RMSEA = .062). The basic dimensions of the scale have shown to be stable and well-defined, though not perfect. The scope, possible applications of the scale and further research are later proposed and discussed.

Se presenta la adaptación y validación al español de la Escala de Deseo de Control de Burger y Cooper. Se emplearon dos muestras. Para estudiar las propiedades psicométricas de la escala se contó con una primera muestra de 1999 (Medad = 45 años, DS = 17,5; 51% mujeres). Para estimar la fiabilidad test-retest se contó con una segunda muestra de 111 personas. La adaptación cultural se llevó a cabo mediante el procedimiento de traducción–retrotraducción. Se presentan las evidencias de validez de la estructura interna de la escala mediante los resultados de sendos análisis factoriales, exploratorio y confirmatorio. El análisis de ítems reveló que todos los elementos presentaron unos valores aceptables, aunque cinco de ellos mostraron efecto techo. El Alfa de Cronbach fue de .736 y la Fiabilidad test-retest fue de .713. La estructura factorial indicó la presencia de cuatro dimensiones: previsión, autonomía, poder e influencia y reactancia. La estructura fue corroborada en el análisis confirmatorio (x2/df = 4.805, CFI = .932, TLI = .954, RMSEA = .062). Las dimensiones de la escala son estables y específicas, aunque no perfectas. Se discute el alcance y posibles aplicaciones de la escala y se proponen futuras investigaciones.


Corresponding author

Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Jesús María de Miguel Calvo. Departamento de Psicología Social y Metodología, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid. C/ Ivan P. Pavlov, 6. 28049-Madrid (Spain). Phone +34-914973260. Fax: +34-914975215. E-mail:


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Measuring the Desire for Control: a Spanish Version of Burger and Cooper's Scale

  • Jesús María De Miguel Calvo (a1), Noemy Martín Sanz (a1), Iván Sánchez-Iglesias (a2) and Miguel Ángel Ruiz Díaz (a1)


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