COMM88 - 0416

COMM88 - 0416 - -Ex: Olympic medal winners (Gold, silver,

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04/16/2009 Defining Concepts - Conceptual definition: A working definition of what the concept means for purposes of investigation (often based on the theory being studied) - Operational definition: how exactly the concept will be measured in a study Measurement (operational variables) Types of Measures - Physiological measures - Ex: heart rate, blood pressure, brain waves - Behavioral measures - Ex: nonverbal gestures, voting, donating time/money - Self-report measures - Items on questionnaire Levels of Measurement - Nominal (categorical/discrete): - Variable is measured merely with different categories - Categories must be mutually exclusive! (People can’t check off more than one) - Categories must be exhaustive! (All the possible choices) - Ex: sex (M/f); ethnicity; yes/no questions; TV viewing (Hi/Med/Lo) - Ordinal: - Variable is measured with rank ordered categories - Ex: rank top five favorite TV shows or rank American Idol contestants
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Unformatted text preview: -Ex: Olympic medal winners (Gold, silver, bronze)-Interval:-Variable is measured with successive points on a scale with equal intervals-Example measure on immigration policy opinion: The US should build a fence along the border Strongly oppose 1 2 3 4 5 Strongly favor Strongly oppose -2 -1 0 +1 +2 Strongly favor-Ratio:-Interval measurement with a true, meaningful zero point-Ex: time in seconds, weight in lbs, etc.-Ex: test scores (if from 0 possible) Interval and ratio measures are continuous variables Measures Should:-Capture variation!-Use continuous variables where possible-Address the specific variables in the Hypothesis/research question-Minimize order effects (answering one question first affects other questions)-Minimize potential social desirability effects-(Self-report) people report what they desire to be, rather than what they really do....
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COMM88 - 0416 - -Ex: Olympic medal winners (Gold, silver,

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