# CRIM 320 Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: Ordinal Data, Theoretical Definition, Level Of Measurement

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24 Nov 2016
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Lecture 1: Reie of Methods and Statistics
research starts by theory
-sociology environment, family ties, peers
-psychological individual mental and psychological
-biological
-aim of science is to prove/disprove themes
-test if relationships are statistically significant
-research question what are we interest in?
-testable hypothesis: foundation of how we test theories
-testable statement about nature of social reality
-e.g., research question: why do people commit delinquent acts?
-hypothesis: children who come from a broken home are more likely to commit
delinquency that children who come from an intact home
-need to create measurable observations
measurement: assigning unit of analysis to an attribute on a variable
-unit of analysis: person or thing from which data is collected/being studied
-aggregates: selection of things put together (e.g., families, school, census)
-data: the thing we want to know about the person or thing collected
-variable: set of logical attributes that are of interest to researcher
-some characteristic that we are interested about
-attribute of the thing (unit of analysis) that vary
-e.g., age
-same answer is constant, not variable
-to create variables - what are concepts and how to measure them
measurement is the process of moving from abstract (concepts) to concrete (measurement of
constructs)
-two steps:
1. conceptualization: process of formulating and clarifying concepts
-direct reflect of theory
-e.g., substance abuse
-can use pre existing construct/definition (such as in DSM_V)
-occurs when the recurrent use of alcohol and/or drugs causes clinically and functionally
-problem: do’t ko if it is orret ad sole definition
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-everyone needs to understand different elements in definition
-clarify how specific or broad the definition is
from concepts to variables
-measurement assign different values or categories to units of analysis
-we measure concepts that vary, which we refer to as variables
-many social science concepts are not directly observable
-e.g., e aot see eduatio or prejudie i a orete sese
-cannot observe education but can count number of years of formal schooling
-can see people avoid interracial contact, or make derogatory statements
2. operationalization: links conceptual definition to a specific set of measurement techniques
-operational definition: describes the research operations that will specify the value or category of a
variable on each case
-create indictors: variables are observable
-direct observation provide imperfect representation of concepts
operationalization religiosity - EX1
-ask respondent if he/she professes to be member of some religious group (e.g., Protestant or Catholic)
-problem:
-belonging to a group does not mean actually believe, participation
-does not capture everything
EX2
-sigle idiators that apture ritual partiipatio"
-how often do you attend religious services?
[never] [sometimes] [always]
-problem:
-assume religiosity is one-dimensional phenomenon
-attendance may not reflect religious commitment, but other considerations
-people who rank high on one dimension of religiosity may rank low on another
EX3 multidimensional approach: five dimensions of religiosity measured using sets of question
levels of measurement
-nominal
-categories that are exhaustive and mutually exclusive
-cover all possible outcomes
-each case can only fit into one of the categories
-e.g., gender, race, religion, city
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