This paper addresses the issue of measuring tolerance, viewed as
a multifaceted phenomenon involving several different social domains. We develop a multidimensional index for Likert-scale data, characterized by the following features: (i) it reflects the individual’s intensity of tolerant attitudes
towards each social domain; (ii) the index can be broken down by dimension
in order to determine the contribution of each dimension to overall tolerance;
(iii) the index combines the different dimensions of tolerance using a weighted
scheme that reflects the importance of each dimension in determining the overall level of tolerance.
To show how this new measure of tolerance works in practice, we carry out a
case study using an Italian recent survey asking the opinion of university students about different subjects, such as interreligious dialogue, women/religion
relationship, religion/death relationship, homosexuality, and multicultural society.