Babbie Reading

Babbie Reading - Topic 9 Babbie Earl 2001 The Practice of...

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Topic 9: Babbie, Earl. 2001. The Practice of Social Research. 9th edition. Belmont CA: Wadsworth, pp. 118-40 Conceptualization, Operationalization and Measurement How do we measure “stuff of life” such as religiosity, prejudice, radicalism and alienation? Measuring Anything That Exists Measurement: careful deliberate observations of the real world for the purpose of describing objects and events in terms of the attributes composing a variable - Conceptions, Concepts and Reality: o Conception: mental images that summarize observations and experiences that seem to have something in common. These conceptions are referred to by labels…they are essentially prejudices o Concepts: constructs; they represent the meaning we assign to terms. These are theoretical and do not exist in the real world – they cannot be measured directly, however, it is possible to measure things that our concepts summarize Example: “You meet someone named Pat. I ask you what Pat is like. You have seen Pat help lost children find their parents and put a tiny bird back in its nest. Pat got you to take Turkeys to poor families on Thanksgiving and to visit a children’s hospital on Christmas….”etc. Pat cries at movies. As you search through your mental files, these acts seem to summarize the act of being “compassionate”. Of course I may have observed Pat doing bad things, so my mental image of Pat would not fit “compassionate” but rather the contrary We take the example of Pat crying in the movies. Hypothetically the movie is about a mother and her lost child…something Pat could connect to…and perhaps his act of crying would fit both our mental images of being “sentimental” The similarities in our mental images represent the agreements existing in our society over a particular term (basic ideas fit a particular category). However, our experiences are all different, so no two people end up with the exact same perception of a term o We cannot measure “compassion” in any objective sense…but compassion exists in the form of the agreementws we have about how to use the term in communicating about things that are real. - Concepts as Constructs: o Concepts are constructs derived by mutual agreement from mental images o Our conceptions summarize collections of seemingly related observations and experiences: Conceptions and the concepts derived from them are only mental creations: they have no real or definite meaning
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Conceptualization - Conceptualization: o Conceptualization is the process of specifying observations and measurements that give concepts definite meaning for the purposes of a research study Suppose we want to find out why women are more compassionate than men. We cannot meaningfully study the question without agreeing upon the meaning of
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Babbie Reading - Topic 9 Babbie Earl 2001 The Practice of...

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