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BHV 390 Surveys. Operationalization of Concepts Operationalize means to make measurable You operationalize concepts by turning them into measurable variables.

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Presentation on theme: "BHV 390 Surveys. Operationalization of Concepts Operationalize means to make measurable You operationalize concepts by turning them into measurable variables."— Presentation transcript:

1 BHV 390 Surveys

2 Operationalization of Concepts Operationalize means to make measurable You operationalize concepts by turning them into measurable variables. Variables are, by definition, measurable. Surveys are made up of items collecting data on concepts the researcher is studying. Each item was chosen to operationalize a concept into a particular type of variable.

3 Operationalization in Surveys Validity Level of Data (Nominal, Ordinal, Ratio) Exploratory, descriptive or explanatory goal Amount of detail (number of options in categorical items) Exhaustiveness of items Clarity Question, item format Participant competence

4 General Type Specific Type DefinitionExamples DiscreteNominalNumbered for labeling in a category based on equality to or difference from other members of the category African American Asian American Latino Euro-American ContinuousOrdinalItems are ranked with no standard interval implied by their ranking 1)First Place 2)Second Place 3)Third Place (the distance between first and second place, and second and third place may be very different from one another) ContinuousIntervalItems are ranked with a standard interval, but without a standardized zero point. 32 degrees Fahrenheit 64 degrees Fahrenheit (32 does not imply twice as cold as 64, and the Fahrenheit and Centigrade have different, non-standard zeros. ContinuousRatioItems are ranked with a standard interval based on a standardized zero point, and a ranking of 4implies exactly twice that of 2. Age in years Kinds of Variables

5 Exploratory, Descriptive or Explanatory Goals Exploratory and Descriptive Goals Demographic variables as descriptive tools Open ended questions, items to elicit the point of view of participants Survey vs. interview methodologies Explanatory Goals Demographic variables as independent variables Closed- ended questions to collect identical information from all participants

6 General Kinds of Measures Closed Ended Multiple Choice Matrix Contingency items Open Ended Fill in the Blank Short Answer Single Item Composite Measures

7 Ways to Operationalize Single Item Measures Yes or no (nominal) c Mutually exclusive categories (nominal) c Fill in the blank with a category name (nominal) o One item with Likert scale (ordinal) c Fill in the blank with a numerical answer (ratio) o Composite Measures Multiple equally weighted items added together, called an index (ratio) c Multiple differently weighted items added together, called a scale (ratio) c C = closed-ended, O = open-ended

8 Nominal Data: Gender Gender is a good example of a nominal variable. Sample item: 1. Gender (Please check the option below that applies to you.) _____Male_____Female

9 Ordinal Data: Socioeconomic Status The categories below imply a hierarchy of status moving from a low of poverty level to a high of upper class. Sample Item: 2. Socioeconomic status. (Please check the option below that applies to you.). ___Poverty level ___Working class ___Middle class ___Upper class

10 Ratio Data: Age Years represent a series of measurement units that are equally distant from one another, and have a true zero point. Sample item: 4. Age _____ (Please fill in your age in years.)

11 Multiple Item Continuous Data: The State Trait Anger Inventory (STAXI). Each item is individually scored by the participants, and then the individual scores are added together to produce a total score. Sample items: For each of the ten items below, please circle the number that corresponds to how you feel right now. Not at all Somewhat Moderately so Very much so 5.I am furious I feel irritated I feel angry I feel like banging on the table I feel like hitting someone I feel like breaking things I feel like yelling at someone I am mad I am burned up I feel like swearing

12 15._____Age in months (Please fill in the childs age in months) 16._____Age in years (Please fill in your age in years) 17. Age (Please check the category that applies to you.) _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ Life Stage (Please check the category that applies to you.) ___Adolescent ___Young Adult ___Adult ___Senior Citizen Amount of Detail in the Data Four ways to measure age with varying amounts of detail.

13 Single Item Two Option Measure (Closed Format) Sample item: Please check the option that best fits your experience. 19. I have been involved in a physically abusive relationship. _____ Yes_____ No

14 Single-Item Multiple Option Measure (Closed Format) Sample item: Please check the option that best reflects your ethnic background. 20. Ethnicity. ___African American ___Asian American ___Latino ___Euro American ___Native American ___Other: Please specify________________________

15 Single-Item Multiple Ordinal (Closed Format) Sample item: Please check the option that best fits your experience. 21.How many times have you been involved in a physically abusive romantic relationship? ____ Never ____ 1 time ____ 2-5 times ____6-9 times ____10 or more times

16 Single Item Likert Scale Measure (Closed Format) Sample item: Please circle the option that best fits your experience. 22. I usually eat when I am sad or depressed. Never True Always True

17 Single Item Fill in the Blank Measure (Open Format) Sample items: 23.What is your age in years? _______ 24.What is your ethnicity? ___________________ Age in years is continuous Ethnicity is nominal and discrete

18 Multiple Item Scale Score Sample items from the Sexual Permissiveness Scale (Bauman and Wilson 1976): Please check the option that best reflects your opinion. 24. Sexual intercourse is acceptable for the male before marriage when he is in love. _____ Agree_____ Disagree 25. Sexual intercourse is acceptable for the male before marriage when he feels strong affection. _____ Agree_____ Disagree 26. Sexual intercourse is acceptable for the male before marriage even if he does not feel strong affection. _____ Agree_____ Disagree 27. Sexual intercourse is acceptable for the female before marriage when she is in love. _____ Agree_____ Disagree 28. Sexual intercourse is acceptable for the female before marriage when she feels strong affection. _____ Agree_____ Disagree 29. Sexual intercourse is acceptable for the female before marriage even if she does not feel strong affection. _____ Agree_____ Disagree

19 Scoring the Sexual Permissiveness Scale A yes on questions 1 and 4 count 1 point each A yes on questions 2 and 5 count 2 point each A yes on questions 3 and 6 count 3 points each Here having sex before marriage when you are in love is less permissive than having sex before marriage when you really like some one; the most permissive scenario is to have sex before marriage with someone for whom you do not have strong feelings. These items are differently weighted according to the relative permissiveness of the item.

20 Bias in Questions Example: 1. Dont you think that women should be stay-at-home moms? ___ Yes___ No Be careful that the questions in your items do not contain the answer you hope to get.

21 Double Barreled Questions Example: 2.Did you pay your state and federal taxes last year? ___ Yes___ No There are two questions contained in this item. It is possible that a participant paid federal but not state taxes or vice versa. Be sure that you separate out your questions so that there is only one per item.

22 Contingency Questions 1.Are your parents currently married to one another? _____ yes_____ no IF NO, GO TO # 4 2. How many years have they been married? _____ 3.Do you think they have a happy marriage? _____ yes_____ no GO TO # 5 4. When did your parents marriage end? _____

23 Matrix Items A matrix format sometimes makes it easier for participants to respond to a set of items that all have the same options. The section of the State-Trait Anger inventory below is arranged in a matrix format. Not at all Somewhat Moderately so Very much so 5. I am furious I feel irritated I feel angry I feel like banging on the table I feel like hitting someone I feel like breaking things I feel like yelling at someone I am mad I am burned up I feel like swearing

24 Steps in Constructing A Survey List all variables that you will measure Determine which of the formats above you will use for each variable. Determine what level of data you will collect for each variable. Organize the items for presentation on a survey according to: format matrix or other clustering of items contingency series influence on each other visual flow Pretest the survey on several individuals who will not be participating in the survey for comprehension logical consistency time Revise according to suggestion that enhance the surveys effectiveness

25 Study Guide SurveyOpen-ended OperationalizationClosed-ended VariableFill in the blank ValidityMultiple choice Level of DataContingency items Research goalMatrix format Amount of detail Short answer Exhaustiveness of itemsComposite/multiple item measures ClarityIndex Question/item formatScale Participant competenceBiased questions/items Nominal dataDouble-barreled questions/items Ordinal dataPretesting the survey Ratio data Discrete data Continuous data


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