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Lecture 4

Lecture 4 - Concept Variables

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Political Science
Stephanie Mullen

Oct. 2, 2013 OBJECTIVES  Defining Political Concepts  Where do Definitions comes from?  Why does a Clear Definition matter? Step 3: Provide clear definitions… From Concepts to Variables  Our conceptual definitions need to be clear  Important to have consistent understandings between researchers of the concepts under study (this doesn’t happen all the time, so be aware of it!!)  Even what may appear to be self-evident concepts (voting) may not be as conceptually clear to others.  In order to make generalizations about the concepts, it is important that the variables are an accurate reflection of the concepts. Variables to Indicators OBJECTIVES  Understand how we move from variables to indicators (from definitions to survey question – step 3 to 4)  Levels of measure (3 different groups for writing survey questions) Step 4: Operationalize the concepts [indicators] Variables to Indicators  Take your variables that are testable and find questions on the survey that are appropriate to measure the variables  Most of the time there will be several indicators but for your project there should be one indicator/question on the survey for each variable  If you are doing a survey or interview for a project you will state that your indicator is Question 6 “How do you feel about the current fun control legislation” to represent the variable support for gun control legislation. Level of Measurement (NOIR)  NOTE: Depending on the text/prof/boss, these definitions can fluctuate
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