Operational definition specifies precisely how a

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Chapter CR / Exercise 4
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-operational definition specifies precisely how a concept will be measured, that is the operations we’ll performCreating Conceptual Order-clarification of concepts is a continuing process in social research-vital toadress conceptualization specifically at the beginning of any study design-the progression of measurements in a fully structured scientific study goesConceptualization → Nominal Definition→ Operational Definition →Measurements in the Real WorldDefinitions in Descriptive and Explanatory Studies-definitions are more problematic for descriptive research then for explanatory research-definitions critical for descriptive research ie; studying unemployment rates, our definition of unemployment is critica-less problematic for explanatory studys, if we have several definitions of a term were studying for example, if students are politically conservative, and we cannot agree on thebest definition of conservative- not necessarily an insurmountable obstacle to our research-looking at our discussion of indicators, if we found more old people to be more conservative in terms of all the definitions we have, then then exact definition doesn’t matter muchOperationalization ChoicesRange of Variation
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Chapter CR / Exercise 4
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-researchers must be clear about the range of variation that interests them, the question is to what extent are they willing to combine attributesd in fairly gross categories-ie measuring peoples incomem estabkish a highest income category and a bottom categoryVariations between the Extremes-degree of precision is a second consideration in operationalizing variables-how fine you will make distinctions among the various possible attributes composing a given variableA Note on Dimensions-when researchers get fown to the business of creating operational measures of variables they often discover or wordse never notice that theyre not exactly clear about which dimension of a variable theyre really interested in-ie studyingpeoples attitudes towards gvmnt, you want to include an examination of how people feel about corruption-ask do people think there is corruption in the gvmntm how muchm how certain, how do they feel this is a problem in society, what do they think causes it, do they think its ineveitable , what they think should be done about it, what they are willing to do personally etcDefining Variables and Attributes-an attribute is a characteristic or quality OF something-the conceptualization and operationalization process can be seen as the specification of variables snd the attributes composing them-every variable must have 2 important qualities, first the attributes composing it should be exhaustive, for the variable to have any utility in research we must be able to classify every onservation in terms of one of the attrivbutes composing the variable-at the same time attributres composing a variable must be mutually exclusive, every observation must be able to classified in terms of one and only one attributeLevels of MeasurementNominal Measures-

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