Week 4 handout Measurement

Week 4 handout Measurement - ScWk 240 Research Methods and...

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ScWk 240 Research Methods and Design Week 4 9/19/08 San José State University Edward Cohen, Ph.D. Measurement Juliet: “Tis but thy name that is my enemy…What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet…” From: Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet I. Check in about Written Assignment #1 II. Conceptualization and Operationalization A. Conceptual definition: A conceptual definition is a specific theoretical meaning of a term, but usually NOT one used for describing measurement. (It’s what you would find in a dictionary.) “Self-esteem is the personal judgment of self-worth.” *** These types of definitions are found in the literature review B. Operational definition : An operational definition is the explicit specification of a variable in such a way that its measurement is possible. “Self-esteem is the self-rated score of personal worth measured by the Rosenberg Self-Esteem inventory.” *** These types of definitions are found in the methods section ***Note: For some variables, the conceptual definition is self-explanatory, such as “gender” **Student report: Give two examples of how variables can be operationalized. C. Operationalization is the process of developing operational definitions of the variables that are contained within the concepts of a quantitative research study. Some variables have self-explanatory conceptual definitions, such as “gender.” More Examples: “Ethnicity” is the self-reported ethnic group of birth, origin or self-identification (conceptual definition) where participants can be classified as European American, African American, Asian American/Pacific Islander, Latino, Native American, or Other (operational definition) Happiness : The state of feeling happy (conceptual) measured by a total score on 1
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"Y. I. M. Delighted Scale” (operational) Î Tip: When you review the literature, feel free to use conceptual and operational definitions already developed by other researchers. You don’t have to “reinvent the wheel” here. III. Types of measurement—Categorical and Continuous Variables Why important: A Variable can be categorized according to its level or type of measurement . This has relevance now as you consider the best types of ways to operationalize concepts for your projects. It will have even more relevance next semester when we cover analysis strategies. A. Categorical Variables : nominal and ordinal—think categories 1. Nominal variable : A variable with discrete, named categories (attributes) without order or value. For example, “Gender” or “Ethnicity” 2. Ordinal variable : A variable with discrete named categories (attributes) with a ranking or order. An ordinal level of measurement is one that classifies variables by rank-ordering them from “high” to “low” or from “most” to “least” or first to last. For example “On a scale of 1 to 5….”
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Week 4 handout Measurement - ScWk 240 Research Methods and...

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