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Lecture 2

SOCB05 Week 2 Notes

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Ann Mullen

SOCB05 Week 2 May 15, 2011 Agenda: Measurement: An Overview Conceptualization Operationalization Levels of Measurement Validity and Reliability Concept: A mental image that summarizes a set of similar observations, feelings, or ideas; theoretical creations that are based on observations. (cannot be directly observed) Something agreed upon by majority Subjective because based on observations and can differ over cultures, etc. and you have to classify what you mean. Ex. Terrorism itself cannot be observed, we can only look at facts. Conceptualization Process of specifying what we mean by a term; giving definite meaning to concept Giving meaning to our concept What is considered as reasonable and not reasonable Meaning that everyone agrees Dimension: A specifiable aspect of a concept; different aspects of the concept. Ex. Violent vs. Non-violent terrorism Indicator: A sign of the presence or absence of the concept (or dimension of the concept) we are studying Ex. Religion Dimension A: Spirituality Dimension B: Social cohesion/devotion [Ex: Concept: Romantic love Own experiences or idea of what it is Conceptualizing it: what does it really mean? Feelings: trust, understanding, connection Characteristics: similarity, differences Behaviour aspect: affection, sacrifice, compromise ^A lot of these things can also represent friendship though! For romantic love, there’s also an aspect of exclusivity. Start measuring! How do we know people have feeling of love? How do you differentiate between love and like? So there was survey for friends and survey for relationships. Scale for relationships was much higher on the level that they like their girlfriends/boyfriends. Validity: Measuring the same thing in two different ways should produce very highly correlated. E Ex. People in love look into each other’s eyes more often. Is this true? –Different cultures, varies] 3 kinds of definitions, ways of defining  Real – essential nature of something; hardly used any more. We don’t really have that in social sciences for love or terrorism (use nominal and operational)  Nominal – giving something a name, assign a term to it. Just going to call it, (ex.) “a reasonable amount of debt”. Power, it isn’t real, but it’s a name.  Operational – how to measure if it matches nominal; operational definition might be if measurable debt to income is less than 5%, that is a “reasonable amount of debt” ex. Affection includes hugging, kissing, holding hands. – measured by observing through the course of one day how frequent these actions occur. High affection – 10 hugs a day, low affection 1 hug, etc. In making levels. Operationalization Process of specifying the exact operations involved in measure a variable. Are we going to include all kinds of debts, are we going to include all sources of income Deciding exactly how we’re going to measure it to figure out who does and doesn’t have reasonable level of debt. How are we going to operationalize it; the steps to take to do it. Variables and Attributes An attribute is a characteristic or quality of something; variables are logical sets of attributes Ex: Gender is a variable, attributes of gender is either male or female Ex. Religion is variable, Attributes are Buddhism, Christianity, Muslim, etc. Exhaustive A variable’s attributes or values are exhaustive when every case can be classified into one of the categories Means that it can apply to everybody. Mutually Exclusive A variable’s attributes or values are mutually exclusive if every case can have only one attribute Ex: Gender, attributes are male or female. It is mutually exclusive if you could only be either or and not both Ex. Reasonable level of debt, either reasonable or unreasonable amount of debt N
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