From Concepts to Variables Sociology 690 – Measurement.

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From Concepts to Variables Sociology 690 – Measurement

Events Concepts Hypotheses Verification Operational Definitions Replication Paradigm of Science What is Science? – an Iterative Process

There is a pattern to the universe - Reliability We are accurately measuring that pattern - Validity These patterns are causally connected – Cause/Effect Knowledge is superior to ignorance Assumptions of Science

DEVELOPING CONCEPTS EVENT OF INTEREST NOMINAL CONCEPT INDICATOR OPERATIONAL DEFINITION ELEMENTSEXAMPLE - 1 SOME PEOPLE HAVE MORE “THINGS” THAN OTHERS WEALTH SALARY SELF REPORT ON W-2 INCOME RECEIVED VARIABLE DOLLARS PER YEAR

EVENT OF INTEREST NOMINAL CONCEPT INDICATORS OPERATIONAL DEFINITION ELEMENTSEXAMPLE - 2 ROMANTIC FEELINGS LOVE ATTRACTION, RESPECT COMMITMENT, SUPPORT VARIABLE SCORE ON SCALE ATTITUDINAL SCALE DEVELOPING CONCEPTS

Levels of Measurement I Non-Quantitative A. Nominal B. Ordinal II Quantitative A. Interval B. Ratio Categorizing (= or not =) Ordering Categories (> or <) Scale of Measurement (+ or -) Scale with Absolute Zero (x or /)

Composite Variables – Two Types Index – an additive concept using multiple variables that are typically empirically recognizable – e.g. S.E.S. Scale – a cumulative concept using multiple variables that are typically inferred variables a.k.a. hypothetical constructs

Reliability and Validity I Reliability A. Test-Retest B. Split Half II Validity A. Face B. Content C. Criterion 1. Concurrent 2. Predictive