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3 Pages

Course Code
Psychology 2810
Doug Hazlewood

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Measurement 1 Definitions and Levels Prologue: Background Review - Concepts (constructs) are words (can’t be directly observed; must be translated into things that can be observed) - Operational definitions describe how concepts will be ‘measured’ (or ‘manipulated’- the purpose of operational definitions is to transfer things that are words into things that can be studied - We’ll talk about ‘manipulating’ concepts when we discuss experiments - Skim Ch 5’s discussion of independent, dependent, subject, and confounded variables (p. 120-122) - Skip nuts and bolts (134-135; case in point and reading between the lines (137) and exercises 5.2 - 5.10 Part 1: Definitions Measurement - using rules to assign values to variables - Values can be numbers or names - Variable - any observable attribute of a concept that has more than one value Biological sex: Males, Females Exam grade: 0% - 100% correct Part 2: Types of Variables A. Categorical variables (values identify distinct “categories” of things) - Values can be names (e.g., males, females) - Values can be numbers (males = 1, females = 2) -Necessary when analyzing data (SPSS) -Numbers don’t have a numerical meaning (don’t tell us about ‘quantity’ - they are just labels in this content) -Numbers can be used to identify individuals within categories (e.g., SIN, student #) B. Quantitative variables (values are numbers that represent quantity; e.g., exam grades) Can be: - Continuous: values represent quantity with no gaps between values (e.g., height, weight) - Discrete: have gaps between values (e.g., can get 70 or 71 answers correct on MC exam, but not 70.5 - Values can be words (e.g., “high” vs “low”, represent quantity: low = 1, high = 2) C. Measurement involves using rules to assign values to variables Part 3: Level of Measurement (and Measurement Scales) A. Nominal scales (name categories of things) - Information: observations are ‘same’ or ‘different’ (equal or not equal) - Rule: same things get same nominal value; different things get different nominal value Note: - ‘categorical’ variables are always nominal - values can be names or numbers (numbers don’t indicate ‘quantity’), BUT we can count the number of things in each category B. Ordinal scales (provide ‘quantitative’ info) - Information: same-different PLUS more-less (rank-order or relative magnitude) - Rule: rank order of scale values must represent rank-order of magnitudes on dimension be
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