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SOCB05; LEC02.docx

5 Pages
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Department
Sociology
Course Code
SOCB05H3
Professor
Rania Salem

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SOCB05; LEC02
DEFINING MEASUREMENT
- measurement; careful, deliberate observations of the real world for the purpose
of describing behaviours, attitudes, values or opinions
o assigning numbers or labels to represent variables that will be
manipulated in assignments
o thinking measurement when coming up with the first two questions for our
assignment
o refer to aspects of reality that the researchers are interested in
o goal; to specify clearly observable reference of the terms contained in the
hypotheses
o research must first understand the abstract meanings of the terms in the
hypotheses
moving from abstract to the concrete
measurements of concepts
KAPLAN’S CLASSES OF MEASUREMENTS
- there are three classes of things that scientists measure
o direct observables
class or age
just by using our vision
don’t have to ask them about those attributes because we
can see them with our eyes
o indirect observables
require more subtle complex or indirect observations
students GPA by looking at their transcripts that we obtained from
their school
race if they marked the box next to Caucasian in a survey
questionnaire
observing indirectly through a record or response
o constructs
theoretical creations that are based on observations but cannot be
observed directly or indirectly
compassion
sentimentality
prejudice
o somewhat more abstract and cannot be observed by
the social scientist
CONCEPTS AS CONSTRUCTS
- concept; a mental creation or construct which we use as a summary device for
bringing together observations and experiences that seem to have something in
common
o one type of construct
o derived from mental images
o understand and predict things that are real
o definite relationship with things that are real and observable
compassion
altruism
religiosity
o no real true or objective meaning
agreements between social scientists
o process of conceptualization
- conceptualization; the process of formulating and clarifying a concept by
specifying indicators that measure the absence or presence of the concept for
the purpose of research
o process of defining a concept
o rarely done by scratch and do not focus on an individual
collective process done iteratively
continuously refined or elaborated on by those who use their
knowledge later
o process of arriving at shared knowledge between social scientists
AN EXAMPLE OF CONCEPTUALIZATION IN SOCIOLOGY
- broh (2002) poses the hypothesis that students’ extracurricular activities increase
social capital, which in turn enhances academic achievement
o academic achievement; cognitive learning outcomes that are the products
of school instruction
o extracurricular activities; school activities outside the set of courses
offered at a school
o social capital; the ability to accrue benefits through membership in social
networks
making decision between similar ideas and breaking them into
different components
human capital; embodied human skills and knowledge
social capital; social relations among people
different dimensions of social capital were different types of ties
student-student
student teacher
teacher- teacher
exerts social control for them to comply with school norms and
values
acquire important information and resources
more ties; more likely to do things that would help with their
academic outcomes
- extra-curricular -> social capital -> academic achievement
OPERATIONALIZATION
- operationalization; the development of specific research procedures that will
result in empirical observations representing concepts in the real world
- researchers often choose to rely on more than one indicator when
operationalizing a concept
o operational measures from broh
first indicator was students’ grades
surveys

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Description
SOCB05; LEC02 DEFINING MEASUREMENT - measurement; careful, deliberate observations of the real world for the purpose of describing behaviours, attitudes, values or opinions o assigning numbers or labels to represent variables that will be manipulated in assignments o thinking measurement when coming up with the first two questions for our assignment o refer to aspects of reality that the researchers are interested in o goal; to specify clearly observable reference of the terms contained in the hypotheses o research must first understand the abstract meanings of the terms in the hypotheses  moving from abstract to the concrete  measurements of concepts KAPLAN’S CLASSES OF MEASUREMENTS - there are three classes of things that scientists measure o direct observables  class or age  just by using our vision  don’t have to ask them about those attributes because we can see them with our eyes o indirect observables  require more subtle complex or indirect observations  students GPA by looking at their transcripts that we obtained from their school  race if they marked the box next to Caucasian in a survey questionnaire  observing indirectly through a record or response o constructs  theoretical creations that are based on observations but cannot be observed directly or indirectly  compassion  sentimentality  prejudice o somewhat more abstract and cannot be observed by the social scientist CONCEPTS AS CONSTRUCTS - concept; a mental creation or construct which we use as a summary device for bringing together observations and experiences that seem to have something in common o one type of construct o derived from mental images o understand and predict things that are real o definite relationship with things that are real and observable  compassion  altruism  religiosity o no real true or objective meaning  agreements between social scientists o process of conceptualization - conceptualization; the process of formulating and clarifying a concept by specifying indicators that measure the absence or presence of the concept for the purpose of research o process of defining a concept o rarely done by scratch and do not focus on an individual  collective process done iteratively  continuously refined or elaborated on by those who use their knowledge later o process of arriving at shared knowledge between social scientists AN EXAMPLE OF CONCEPTUALIZATION IN SOCIOLOGY - broh (2002) poses the hypothesis that students’ extracurricular activities increase social capital, which in turn enhances academic achievement o academic achievement; cognitive learning outcomes that are the products of school instruction o extracurricular activities; school activities outside the set of courses offered at a school o social capital; the ability to accrue benefits through membership in social networks  making decision between similar ideas and breaking them into different components  human capital; embodied human skills and knowledge  social capital; social relations among people  different dimensions of social capital were different types of ties  student-student  student teacher  teacher- teacher  exerts social control for them to comply with school norms and values  acquire important information and resources  more ties; more likely to do things that would help with their academic outcomes - extra-curricular -> social capital -> academic achievement OPERATIONALIZATION - operationalization; the development of specific research procedures that will result in empirical observations representing concepts in the real world - researchers often choose to rely on more than one indicator when operationalizing a concept o operational measures from broh  first indicator was students’ grades  surveys  student-teacher interaction; whether students talk with teachers, vice versa, etc etc.  student-parent interaction; frequency of discussion about school  different types of ties of social capital  student-student INDICATORS AND VARIABLES - indicator; an observation that we choose to consider as a reflection of a concept we with to study o exist at a higher level of abstraction than variables  years of education= education/ schooling  you’d have a measurement for the concept of education - variable; logical groupings of attributes o variables of years of education would be 0-5, 6
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