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SOCB05; LEC02.docx

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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  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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