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SOAN 2120 Lecture Notes - Missing Data, Face Validity

Sociology and Anthropology
Course Code
SOAN 2120
Scott Schau

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Lecture Monday Feb. 4 2013
Indexes, Scales and Typologies
Indexes and Scales
-most common in survey research and other quantitative methods
-often used in quantitative research because:
-difficult to devise a single measure of complex concepts
-especially true with regard to attitudes and orientations
-researchers devise several items, each providing some indication of
the variable
-indexes do not have enough information
-when you make an index you loose information
-a single indicator provides a valid and reliable measure of some variables
-e.g. marital status; # of children in a family
-other variables are more difficult and complex to measure
-some may require > 1 indicator of a variable
e.g. depression
-some may involve a # of dimensions that calls for multiple indicators
e.g. compassion (feeling vs. action)
-some may be concerned with degree to which a variable is present
e.g. physically fit
Lecture Wed Feb. 6 2013
Index Construction Logic
Scale-constructions logic
Indexes and scales: differences
-way scores are assigned in each:
index accumulate scores assigned to individual attributes
scale assign scores to pattern of responses
-uses differences in intensity among the attributes of the same variable to
identify distinct patterns of response
-some times reflect a relatively weak degree of the variable while
others reflect something stronger
-ideally you want a scale over an index (scale contains more information)
-2 misconceptions about scaling:
1. a particular sample or observation determines whether the combination of
several data items results in a scale
-certain items may form a scale within one sample but not within another
2. use of specific scaling techniques does not guarantee the creation of a scale;
instead, such techniques help to determine whether or not a set of items constitutes
a scale
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