March 5 - March 5, 2008 Conceptualization and measurement...

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March 5, 2008 Conceptualization and measurement Concepts o Concept – a mental image that summarizes a set of similar observations, feelings, or ides o Conceptualization – the process of specifying what we mean by a term; defining it This is not splitting hairs or just semantics It’s crucial that we agree on what we mean E.g. what is substance abuse? Binge drinking? Regular casual drinking? Drug use, including marijuana? Diagnostic Statistical Manual: “repeated use of a substance to the extent that it interferes with adequate social, vocational, or self- care functioning.” Conceptualization examples (cont) o What is a gang? A group that: Uses symbols Has leadership Is engaged in illegal activity (Cont) o What is a “violent crime problem”? Does Delaware have a problem relative to other staes? Lower homicide rate Measurement operations o Operationalization – the process of specifying that operations (measures) that will indicate the value of a variable for each case
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March 5 - March 5, 2008 Conceptualization and measurement...

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