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Chapter 4- Conceptualization and Measurement.doc

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David Nussbaum

Chapter 4- Conceptualization and Measurement Measuring Mental Health and Mental Illness • being mentally healthy means u dunt have a diagnosable mental disorder or disability o however u may say it’s a mentally happy person is happy mm thriving ect o so how do u no which one it is and how develop constructs • Case study: Keyes (1997) - Is mental health ↑ than just lack of mental illness? o Rooted in positive psyc- argues that thers ↑ to mental health then simply the absence of negatives o Learn about the construct on the next slide cuz that’s wat the point basically is Developing and Defining Constructs • define ur ideas into a clearly defined theory- which provides the conceptual framework for ur studies, meaning of terms and identifies how variable re to measured and the rationale Theoretical Constructs • theory unites concepts with the variables and measurements and it does this by translating abstract concepts into a calculable variables which all have objective measurement • abstract concepts are referred to as constructs • construct – specified in a theory in order to describe , explain and predict a wide range of related empirical findings • Not directly observable →Must be translated into an operational defn Operational Defn of Constructs • operational defn-provides a recipe for spec variables that are to be used to measure a construct o operational defn of a construct isn’t limited to spec how to measure it o in lab studies it can spell out conditions under which the construct is expected to occur – it can identify the independent variables that are expected to prod the construct • eg construct of anxiety can be in 3 distinct variables—measures of psycphysiology, obs ratings and self report →rep 3 diff dependent variables of the same construct, • if u have time read pgs 97-98 • structure of a scientific theory begins with abstract constructs which in turn are translated or operationalized into measurable independent and dependent variables • sound prog of research depends on the extent to which these operations capture the nature of the theoretical constructs under investigation • scientific validity of a theory or a theoretical construct hinges on the extent to which it descries, predicts and explains those empirical relationships that are uncovered between independent and dependent variables • many times the relationships between independent and dependent variables will be linked , connected or mediated by intervening variables , hyp internal states that are critical components of deductive struct of a theory Building Constructs • mental health vs mental illness ... keys adopted a conceptual framework rooted in the school of psyc known as positive psyc • positive psyc- scientific study of ordinary human strengths and virtues seeks to learn about human thriving , optimism , joy, capabilities • pgs 100-101 Measurement of Psyc Constructs • We investigate if our hyp constructs reflect objective reality through measurement? o answer is to find the correct objective reality we use a lot of methods • measurement - Assignment of numerals to variables according to some objective rule o So then u can use #s instead of just names • use multiple methods of measurement is essential o essential for use to develop a complete understanding of a phenomenon and its relationships o diif forms of measurement for the same construct allow ↑ understanding Levels of measurement • measurement : process by which #s are used to designate objects or events according to some objective rule • rule- means the way #s are used to rep a particular scale of measurement o can have 1 of 4 scales which range in complexity →nominal( least complex) , ordinal, interval and ratio( most complex) • nominal ( also called categorical or qualitative level) – identifies variables whose values have no mathematical interpretation→ they vary in kind or quality but not amount o variables values are mutually exclusive- of every case can only have one value o variables values are exhaustive when every case can be classified into one of the categories o when variables are mutually exclusive and 0065haustive- every case corresponds to 1 attribute ( value ) • →Special case of dichotomies- variables have 2 values but still measured at the nominal level st • ordinal level of measurement – 1 of 3 quantitative labels – the #s assigned to response choices allow for greater than and less than distinctions o cuz it allows for ranking it’s also referred to as ranking scale o Does not assume equal distance between values o likert scale is common metric system , 1- none of the time , 2 a little of the time , 3 some of the time , 4 most of the time , 5 all of the time • interval – has all characteristics of nominal and ordinal scales of measurement o it gives a name or category for each obs with the # serving as a code for the able o like ordinal the responses are numerically ordered or ranked form lowest to ↑est on the same characteristic o Equal distances between values and No true zero point o u can’t say 80 C is twice as much as 40 • Ratio level – the #s rep fixed measuring units and an absolute zero point ( 0 means absolutely no amount of whatever the variable indicates ) o All qualities of nominal, ordinal, and interval scales and True zero o #s can be added, subtracted, multiplied, and divided Comparison of Levels of Measurement • Important when considering statistical analyses • Non-parametric statistics = test hyp for variables that use nominal and ordinal scales o eg chi square test • Parametric statistics = generally used
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