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Lecture 11

SOCIOL 2ZO3 Lecture 11 - February 24th.docx

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Department
Sociology
Course
SOCIOL 2Z03
Professor
Gerald Bierling
Semester
Winter

Description
Lecture 11 – February 24th Chapter 6 – Indexes, scales and typologies  • Index versus scale o Commonalities   Both are ordinal measures of variables:  • But often treated as interval for statistical purposes  Both are composite measures of variables – measurements based on more than  one data item; sometimes referred to as data reduction techniques   Why use them?  • Single items rarely fully tap the concept (e.g., attitudes) • Single items may not provide enough variation • More efficient to deal with one measure than many variables o Differences:  Index – summarizes and rank­orders several specific observations and represents  some more general dimensions  Scale – composed of several items that have a logical or empirical structure  among them • Index: Example o Political participation:  Wrote letter to politician  Signed a petition  Donated money to politician/party  Wrote letter to editor or newspaper  Lawn sign  Votes o An index would simply add up the number of instances of each type of participation  • Scale: Example o Political participation:  Wrote letter to politician  Signed a petition  Donated money to politician/party  Wrote letter to editor of newspaper  Lawn sign  Voted o But are all items equal?  o A scale would test for the logical or empirical order among the items before calculating  composite measure • Index construction: five steps o  Item selection   Face validity – does it make sense to include the item?   Unidimensionality – items should reflect only one dimension; e.g., trust and  reconciliation may be related, but are not the same 
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