There's this study I'd love to read but, for the life of me, even with my UGA super password and access, I cannot get. Why am I telling you this? Because I'll never get back the half-hour I just wasted trying every trick to read the paper. It's in a journal called Political Analysis. The article title is:
An Analysis of ANES Items and Their Use
in the Construction of Political Knowledge Scales
Which is stuff I do. Exactly what I do, with the data (ANES) I do it with. The abstract is kinda in English though not at all in English unless you're a numbers nerd and PhDweeb. The point seems to be the ANES (American National Election Studies) items are crap, but a subset can be less crappy, but really we should think of the measure as more of a "latent variable" rather than "cause or formative indicators." Simply put, the measures suck. Or so they say. It's hard to say from the abstract.