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Ch 5: Measurement Concepts

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Reliability Reliability refers to the consistency or stability of a measure of behavior [p92] If you weighed yourself now and then at the end of class and you weighed the same both times, you would say the scale is reliable. True score: The real score on the variable Measurement error: occurs when a measure yields inconsistent results; the greater the inconsistency, the greater the measurement error

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Reliability of Measures How can we assess reliability? Correlation coefficients tell us how strongly two variables are related. - Pearson Product-Moment Correlation Coefficient (noted as r in text) [p93] C oefficients range from 0.00 to - 1.00 and 0.00 to +1.00 Sign of the coefficient indicates direction Value of the coefficient indicates the strength

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Reliability of Measures - 1.00 + 1.00 0.00 Variables covary in opposite directions Variables covary in the same direction

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Methods of assessing reliability [pp 94-96] Test-retest reliability: Assesses reliability of a score by measuring the same individuals at 2 points in time Internal consistency reliability: Assesses reliability of the assessment tool (e.g. test) at one point in time Questions should yield consistent results Split-half reliability – individual’s total score on one half of the test is correlated with the total score on the other half of the test

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Methods of assessing reliability: Interobserver (Interrater) Reliability A measure of how often two or more observers agree (are consistent) in their observations. [p96] Nominal scale: percentage agreement How we assess interobserver reliability: Number of times two observers agree ____________________ X 100 Number of opportunities to agree

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Construct Validity of Measures [pp 97-100] Refers to the adequacy of the operational definition of variables Is the measure that is used actually assessing what it is supposed to assess? If so, it has face validity. Example: Are facial expressions an adequate measure of happiness?

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Indicators of construct validity Face Validity: The content of the measure appears to reflect the construct being measured. Content Validity: The content of the measure is linked to the universe of content that defines the construct Facial expressions are part of a set of behaviors related to happiness, such as body posture, thoughts, etc.) Example: Are facial expressions an adequate measure of happiness?

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Indicators of construct validity Predictive Validity: Scores on the measure predict behavior on a criterion measured at a time in the future SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test predicts future success at a university) Concurrent Validity: Scores on the measure are related to a criterion measured at the same time People who score high on a verbal anxiety test experience increased sweating at the same time People who have happy facial expressions concurrently report feeling happy

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Indicators of construct validity Convergent Validity: Scores on the measure are related to other measures of the same construct. A score for happy facial expression is related to a score for body posture or mood or optimism Discriminant Validity: Scores on the measure are not related to other measures that are theoretically different. A score for happy facial expression is not related to one for intelligence or cleanliness

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Measurement Scales Four levels for quantifying behavior: nominal, ordinal, interval, and ratio [p102-105]

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Nominal scale Classifies behaviors, events, and characteristics into different categories [p102] No numerical or quantitative properties Independent variables are often nominal or a categorical variable

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Ordinal Scale Measurement scale in which events and behaviors can be rank ordered (i.e, first, second, third, etc.) [p103] Allows categories to be ordered first to last, highest to lowest, biggest to smallest, etc. Quantitative but no values attached to the intervals

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Interval Scale Measurement scale that allows researcher to specify how far apart two observations are on a given dimension [p104] Difference between the numbers is meaningful Intervals are equal in size Quantitative but no meaningful zero reference point

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Ratio Scale Measurement scale that is quantitative, with all numerical properties including an absolute zero reference point [p104]

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Let’s practice! Identify the measurement scale for the following data: Circle your marital status: Married Single Divorced Engaged

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Let’s practice! Identify the measurement scale for the following data: Circle your marital status: Married Single Divorced Engaged NOMINAL

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Let’s practice! Identify the measurement scale for the following data: Do you go to work? Yes No

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Let’s practice! Identify the measurement scale for the following data: Do you go to work? Yes No NOMINAL

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Let’s practice! Identify the measurement scale for the following data: If you work, how many hours a week do you work? _______

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Let’s practice! Identify the measurement scale for the following data: If you work, how many hours a week do you work? _______ RATIO

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Let’s practice! Identify the measurement scale for the following data: Rate your enjoyment of college on the scale below. 12345 Not Very Much Very Much

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Let’s practice! Identify the measurement scale for the following data: Rate your enjoyment of college on the scale below. 12345 Not Very Much Very Much INTERVAL

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Let’s practice! Identify the measurement scale for the following data: What is your class standing? Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior

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Let’s practice! Identify the measurement scale for the following data: What is your class standing? Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior ORDINAL

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