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SOCY 210 (136)
Lecture 5

Indexes and Scales (week 5).docx

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SOCY 210
Vincent F Sacco

Indexes, Scales, Typologies  Indexes, Scales o Allows us to summarize several indicators in a single score o Both ordinal measures of variables o Both rank order o Composite measures of variables  Measures more than one data item  Index o Summarizes and rank orders specific observations o Represents a more general dimension o Summarizing responses  Constructed by accumulating scores assigned to individual indicators  Eg. Prejudice  Adding up all the prejudice statements a respondant agrees with  Scale o Constructed by assigning scores to a pattern o Pattern of responses  Each variable contributes o Some items reflect a week degree and others reflect a high degree of the variable  Acknowledges the differences of intensity among attributes of one variable o Usually superior to indexes Index Construction  Selecting possible items o Index is used to measure a variable o Needs face validity o Unidimensionality  A measure should represent only one dimension of a concept o General or Specific  General is a balanced set of questions  Specific is specific to your dimension o Variance  Examining empirical relationships o When respondents answers to a question help us predict how they will answer on other question o If they are empirically related, they will reflect the same variable o Bivariate Relationships  Relationship between 2 variables  Eg, Those who believe women can have an abortion if she was raped should also believe she should have an abortion if her life is threatened o Item should be dropped from the index if it is not related to several other items o Multivariate Relationships  Uses more than 2 variables  Each item must add something to the value of the respondent  Two items perfectly related do nothing for the index  Scoring the index o Assign scores for particular responses o Creating index with several items o Decide range of index scores  If extremes are extended, there are fewer cases at each end o Concerns include  What the range of measurement should be  Getting an adequate amount of cases for each point in the index o Missing Data  Difficult to construct index  You can decide to exclude them from the index and analysis  Concern if the numbers will still remain consistent  Could create unrepresentative sample  Can decide that a failure to answer means “no”  You can also assign the missing value somewhere in the middle if there are several possible values  Validating o Successful index must be validated o Scores on the index arrange cases in a rank order in terms of that variable  Item analys
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