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Lecture Feb. 4, 6, 8th.docx

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Sociology and Anthropology
SOAN 2120
Scott Schau

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 Index Construction Main st
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