Date of Award

January 2022

Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Document Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Yoshie Nakai

Department Affiliation


Second Advisor

Jonathan S. Gore

Department Affiliation



A powerful nation that commits reprehensible actions but only holds other countries accountable must be checked, especially if the nation's populace turns a blind eye. This thesis sought to validate a new scale called the American Exceptionalism Index. The current study draws from instruction and examples from academics and professionals who have experience with scale validation – a primer was developed and available to guide future scale development. Following these steps or the inherent purpose behind these steps, the current study seeks to contribute to the American Exceptionalism literature. The current study seeks to validate the American Exceptionalism Index (AEI) and compare it to Gilmore's thirteen national exceptionalism bias items (2015). A total of 506 U.S. adults (M = 35.8, SD = 10.7) took part in the study, and 477 were included in analyses. The average score of the AEI and the average scores of each of the four domains were correlated to the average score of the two domains of Gilmore’s items separately and conjointly. A mistake was made in creating the survey; one item of Gilmore’s first domain was mistakenly left out of the current study and was not intentional. Despite the error, the second domain remained fit to analyze. The AEI nearly achieved convergent validity with Gilmore’s thirteen U.S. national exceptionalism bias items. Despite this, the current study asserts that, with some future improvements, the AEI is a new, valid scale measuring American Exceptionalism.