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Relative Autonomy Index (RAI)

The Relative Autonomy Index (RAI) uses 72 items from three subscales to measure autonomy: external motivation, introjected motivation and autonomous motivation. Each subscale is further broken down into domains: household activities, being employed, not being employed, making household purchases, not making household purchases, participating in groups, not participating in groups, and feeding infants. In each domain, the RAI captures external motivation based on four to five items, introjected motivation based on two to four items and autonomous motivation based on three to four items. The RAI focuses on the individual's motivations for their decisions and actions.

Categories

Geographies Tested: Chad

Populations Included: Female, Male

Age Range: Adolescents, Adults

Items:

Relative Autonomy in Household Activities

External Motivation

I partake in household activities such as cleaning the house or doing laundry...
1. Because I will get in trouble if I don't
2. Because I get a reward or benefit if I do
3. Because that is what other people tell me to do
4. So that others won't get mad at me

Introjected Motivation

I partake in household activities such as cleaning the house or doing laundry...
5. So that others don't think poorly of me
6. Because I think they are valuable
7. Because I personally think it is the right thing to do, whether or not others agree
8. Because I enjoy it
9. Because I think it is important for me, personally

Relative Autonomy in Being Employed

External Motivation

I partake in paid work...
10. Because I will get in trouble if I don't
11. Because I get a reward or benefit if I do
12. Because that is what other people tell me to do
13. So that others won't get mad at me

Introjected Motivation

I partake in paid work...
14. So that others don't think poorly of me
15. Because I personally think it is the right thing to do, whether or not others agree
16. Because I enjoy it
17. Because I think it is important for me, personally

Relative Autonomy in Not Being Employed

External Motivation

I am not employed...
18. Because I will get in trouble if I am
19. Because I get a reward or benefit if I am not
20. So that others won't get mad at me
21. To avoid punishment
22. Because others want me not to

Introjected Motivation

I am not employed...
23. So that others don't think poorly of me
24. Because I personally think it is the right thing to do, whether or not others agree
25. Because I don't enjoy it
26. Because I think it is important for me not to, personally
27. I do not find it rewarding

Relative Autonomy in Making Household Purchases

External Motivation

I participate in making major household purchases...
28. Because I will get in trouble if I don't
29. Because I get a reward or benefit if I do them
30. Because that is what other people tell me to do
31. So that others won't get mad at me
32. To avoid punishment

Introjected Motivation

I participate in making major household purchases...
33. So that others don't think poorly of me
34. Because I personally think it is the right thing to do, whether or not others agree
35. Because I like it
36. Because I think it is important for me, personally

Relative Autonomy in Not Making Household Purchases

External Motivation

I do not participate in making major household purchases...
37. Because I will get in trouble if I do
38. Because I get a reward or benefit if I don't
39. So that others won't get mad at me
40. To avoid punishment

Introjected Motivation

I do not participate in making major household purchases...
41. So that others don't think poorly of me
42. Because I personally think it is the right thing to do, whether or not others agree
43. Because I do not like it
44. Because I think it is important for me not to, personally

Relative Autonomy in Participating in Groups

External Motivation

I participate in groups...
45. Because I will get in trouble if I don't
46. Because I get a reward or benefit if I do
47. Because that is what other people tell me to do
48. So that others won't get mad at me

Introjected Motivation

I participate in groups...
49. So that others don't think poorly of me
50. Because I think they are valuable
51. Because I personally think it is the right thing to do, whether or not others agree
52. Because I enjoy it
53. Because I think it is important for me, personally

Relative Autonomy in Not Participating in any Group

External Motivation

I do not participate in groups...
54. Because I will get in trouble if I do
55. Because I get a reward or benefit by not being part of any group
56. Because that is what other people tell me to do
57. So that others won't get mad at me

Introjected Motivation

I do not participate in groups...
58. Because others might think poorly of me if I do
59. Because I want people to like me
60. To please others

Autonomous Motivation

I do not participate in groups...
61. Because I think they are valuable to participate
62. Because I personally think it is the right thing to do, whether or not others agree
63. Because I do not enjoy participating
64. Because I think it is important for me not to, personally

Relative Autonomy in Feeding infants

External Motivation

I participate in activities related to feeding infants...
65. Because I will get in trouble if I don't
66. Because I get a reward or benefit if I do
67. Because that is what other people tell me to do
68. So that others won't get mad at me

Introjected Motivation

I participate in activities related to feeding infants...
69. So that others don't think poorly of me
70. Because I think they are valuable
71. Because I personally think it is the right thing to do, whether or not others agree
72. Because I enjoy it

Response Options:
Strongly disagree - 1
Disagree - 2
Agree - 3
Strongly agree - 4

Scoring Procedures

Subscales' Scores. The score of each subscale is the mean of the subscale's item scores. Relative Autonomy Index. The Relative Autonomy Index is the weighted sum of the scores of the three subscales, with the external motivation subscale weighted as (-2), the introjected motivation subscale as (-1) and autonomous motivation subscale weighted as (+3). The RAI ranges from -9 to +9. Higher scores represent a more autonomous sense of motivation whereas negative scores indicate that the respondent's motivation is more controlled (introjected or external).

Original Citation

Vaz, A., Pratley, P., & Alkire, S. (2016). Measuring women's autonomy in Chad using the relative autonomy index. Feminist economics, 22(1), 264-294. https://doi.org/10.1080/13545701.2015.1108991

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