PS102Lecture5

PS102Lecture5 - Measurement (Part Deux) Political Science...

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Measurement (Part Deux) Political Science 102 Introduction to Political Inquiry Lecture 5
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Levels of Measurement The level of measurement of a variable describes The amount of precision associated with a variable The mathematical properties of the variable The Levels of Measurement are: Nominal Ordinal Interval Ratio Higher level measures contain more information within measured value Precision and mathematical properties increase
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Nominal Measures Nominal variables describe qualitative differences between categories. Only information is which of 2 or more categories does the case fit? Categories should be exhaustive and mutually exclusive Example: Collier measures of democracy Parliamentary Democracy vs. Presidential Democracy Limited Democracy vs. Electoral Democracy vs…. . Example: COW Coding of MIDs or Wars (Present or Absent) Example: Party Identification (Democrat, Republican, Independent) Are these exhaustive and mutually exclusive? Nominal measures often analyzed with “dummy variables”
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Ordinal Measures Categories ranked in order according to levels of latent characteristic Can’t make comparisons about distance between categories Example: 7 point party ID measure: Strong Dem, Not Strong Dem, Lean Dem… etc. What’s the latent characteristic? Escalation of COW MIDs None, threat, display, use, war What is the latent characteristic? Analyze with care: easy to make inappropriate comparisons across categories
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Interval Measures Values ranked ordinally AND reflect distance between categories on latent variable
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This note was uploaded on 10/21/2011 for the course POL SCI 102 taught by Professor Gelpi during the Spring '11 term at Duke.

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PS102Lecture5 - Measurement (Part Deux) Political Science...

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