2 Conceptualizatoin operationalization levels of measurement

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Conceptualization, Operationalization and Measurement:

Conceptualization, Operationalization and Measurement Concepts, Levels of Measurement, and Measurement Validity.

Aspects of Measurement Validity in Social Research :

Aspects of Measurement Validity in Social Research What is a Concept in sociological research ? Concept : 1. Mental Constructs , or images, developed to symbolize ideas, persons, things, or events. (symbolic interaction) 2. An Organized principle used to differentiate those classes of phenomena with common characteristics from other classes of phenomena. Are we measuring what we intend to measure ? OR , Are we measuring the correct Concept ?


Conceptualization In Deductive research , conceptualization helps to translate portions of an abstract theory into specific variables that can be used in testable hypotheses. In Inductive research , conceptualization is an important part of the process used to make sense of related observations. Conceptualization is the process of specifying what we mean by a term. ( A clear, verbal specification of your variable (concept) so that others know what it is and can place cognitive borders around it.

Conceptualization Continued…:

Conceptualization Continued… If we hypothesized that lower social status in college students directly correlates to an increase in deviant behavior , then what exactly is Deviant Behavior ? (The conceptual DV we are measuring) - Deviant Behavior as: Causing physical harm, Talking out loud in class, Underage Drinking, etc, etc.

The Multi-Dimensions of Conceptual Definitions:

The Multi-Dimensions of Conceptual Definitions What is a Table ? What is a Car ? What is Religiosity ? 1. Ideological Dimension 3. Ritualistic Dimension 2. Experiential Dimension 4. Consequential Dimension 5. Intellectual Dimension * What about VS BIG TALL

Concepts in Research:

Concepts in Research Conflicts in Measurement Validity 1. All concepts are Multi-Dimensional What do we mean by social status? Lets do a study to see if there is a Direct relationship between Social Status of parents and Deviant Behavior in college students. Social Status Power Privilege Prestige Indicators O E I G R E A B R Income Possessions, Fashion, Teeth, Self-Report, Jewelry, etc. Process of Conceptualization And Operation-alization


Operationalization In Social Research, there are Operations of Measurement . Operation : A procedure for identifying or indicating the value of cases on a variable. (Instructions) Operationalization: The process of specifying the operations that will indicate the value of cases on a variable


Operationalization The Measure (Or observation scheme) The Application Self administered questionnaire Male E-Mail Interview Face-to-face Phone Scoring/ Coding/ Scaling

Lets say we were to Operationalize the effects of “Sending Flowers and Get well cards” to a Patient, as a method of “Increasing Health.”:

Lets say we were to Operationalize the effects of “Sending Flowers and Get well cards” to a Patient, as a method of “Increasing Health.” Shorter hospital stays – Operationalized as “ Days spent in the hospital ” Normal heart rates and blood pressures – Operationalized in “ Beats per minute ” and “ Diastolic and systolic pressures ”. Increased morale – Operationalized by asking patients a series of questions about their attitude, current outlook, emotions. How will we measure “Increasing Health”of Patients ?

Slide 10:

Levels of Measurement The Level of Measurement is the mathematical precision with which the values of a variable can be expressed. The Nominal (name) level of measurement, which is qualitative , has no mathematical interpretation; The Quantitative levels of measurement—Ordinal, Interval, and Ratio—are progressively more precise mathematically. When we know a variable’s level of measurement, we can better understand how cases vary on that variable and so understand more fully what we have measured. Nominal Ordinal Interva l Ratio



Slide 12:

The Nominal level of measurement identifies variables whose values have no mathematical interpretation ; they vary in kind or quality but not in amount. Nominal Measures In terms of the variable “Dog Breed”, you can say that the German Shepherd is not equal to the Terrier, but you cannot say that the “German Shepherd” is “dog breedier” or “less dog breedy ” than the Terrier. © Pine Forge Press, an imprint of Sage Publications, 2004

Wienir’s Nominal Examples:

Wienir’s Nominal Examples UCR categories? Sex Race-ethnicity Religious identification Architectural style

Slide 14:

At this level, you specify only the order of the cases, in “greater than” and “less than” distinctions. At the pet shop, for example, you might choose between a small, medium, or large breed of dog—that’s ordinal measurement. We haven’t specified anything in the way of inches or weight. Ordinal Measures © Pine Forge Press, an imprint of Sage Publications, 2004

Wienir’s Ordinal examples:

Wienir’s Ordinal examples Sex Race Religious identification Level of seriousness of crime Class standing Likert scales?

Slide 16:

At the interval level of measurement , numbers represent fixed measurement units but have no absolute zero point. Interval Measures Your text uses the example of temperatures measured with the Fahrenheit scale. The temperature can definitely go below zero, as indicated in this weather forecast for Fargo, ND. © Pine Forge Press, an imprint of Sage Publications, 2004 Sunrise: 8:05 am    UV Index: 1, Minimal   Sunset: 5:12 pm Moonrise: 7:56 pm     Phase: Waning Gibbous    Moonset: 9:53 am Averages and Records for Jan 20 Monday: Mainly sunny. High 4F. Winds NW at 10 to 15 mph. Monday night: Clear to partly cloudy skies. Low -12F. Winds Wat 5 to 10 mph. 4 °F -12 °F -16 °C -25 °C

Wienir’s Interval Examples:

Wienir’s Interval Examples Income as a measure of wealth Likert scales ?

Slide 18:

A ratio level of measurement represents fixed measuring units with an absolute zero point . Zero, in this situation, means absolutely no amount of whatever the variable indicates. On a ratio scale, 10 is two points higher than 8 and is also two times greater than 5. Ratio numbers can be added and subtracted, and because the numbers begin at an absolute zero point, they can also be multiplied and divided (so ratios can be formed between the numbers). Ratio Measures

Slide 19:

Ratio Measures There are 1/3 fewer pets in photo #2. Photo #1 The variable is “Number of pets on the couch” Photo #2

Wienir’s Ratio Examples:

Wienir’s Ratio Examples # Kids #Behaviors Rates Comparison of how many times as intense #s depending on the conceptual definition e.g. pillars

More Ratio Examples :

More Ratio Examples City Size S.S. Stephens Rating Scale

Differentiation between LOM:

Differentiation between LOM Ratio : Is there an absolute zero point? Interval : Is there a standard measure between rankings ? Ordinal : Are there rankings between categories ? Nominal : Are there categories

Slide 23:

Examples of Appropriate comparison statements math operations A is equal to (not equal to) B = (≠) A is greater than (less than) B > (<) A is three more than (less than) B + (–) A is twice (half) as large as B ´ (/) Relevant level of measurement Nominal Ordinal Interval Ratio √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ The Types of Comparisons That Can Be Made With Different Levels of Measurement © Pine Forge Press, an imprint of Sage Publications, 2004

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