PSYCH235 Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: Operationalization, Operational Definition, External Validity

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11 Feb 2016
Social Psych—Research Methods—Lecture 2
Psychological Construct—attitude, self-esteem, extroversion; how do we measure thi
- something like an attitude… something that cant be seen..
Operational Definition—measure of the manipulation of the variable in a study
oExample: anxiety—how anxious people get in closed areas. How can you tell how
anxious people are?
oPhysiological: heart rate, sweating, fidgeting.
oif you allow people to leave the study, for example, we can measure anxiety
through how many people left.
Operationalization: turning things into operational definitions
How do you measure prejudice?
In one study, how far away people sat from a group/individual in a room of chairs can determine
who they are prejudice against.
Conceptual definition - a hostile attitude directed against an individual or a group
Operational definition - sitting distance (chair position)
Correlational research:
Correlation is not causation
Ex. High social status, better health. Better health, higher social status. Does not mean one
necessarily causes the other, but there is a correlation between the two.
Allows for predictions between variables
Measures variables at the same time, not changing anything
Internal validity:
Extent to which research yields clear casual information.
Higher in experimental research.
External validity:
Extent to which results generalize beyond current sample, setting, etc
Higher in correlational research
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