midterm 2 research methods.docx

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University of Guelph
Family Relations and Human Development
FRHD 3070
Georgevander Merwe

Chapter 6 Conceptualization - The process of developing clear, rigorous, systematic conceptual definitions for abstract ideas Conceptual Definition - A careful systemic definition of a construct that is explicitly written to clarify ones thinking - Often linked to other concepts or theoretical statements Operationalization - The process of moving from the conceptual definition of a construct to a set of specific activities or measures that allow researchers to obtain it empirically Operational definition - The definition of a variable in terms of the specific activities researcher carries out Conceptual hypothesis - A type of hypothesis in which the reasearcher expresses variables in abstract, conceptual terms - Expresses relationship among variables in a theoretical way Empirical hypothesis - Type of hypothesis in which researcher expresses variables in specific terms - Expresses the association among the measured indicators of observable empirical evidence Reliability - The consistency of the measure of a variable - How to improve reliability o Clearly conceptualize all constructs o Increase level of measurement (be precise) o Use multiple indicators o Use pilot tests Validity - Term meaning truth - Tied to logical tightness of experimental design, the ability to generalize findings outside a study, the quality of measurement and the proper procedures Multiple indicators - Many procedures of instruments that indicate or provide evidence of, the presence of level of empirical evidence. - Researchers use several together to measure a variable Measurement validity - How well an empirical indicator and the conceptual definition of the construct that the indicator is supposed to measure fit together Face validity - A type of measurement validity - Indicator makes sense as a measure of a construct in the judgement of others Content validity - Type of measurement validity - Requires that a measure represents all the aspects of the conceptual definition of a construct Criterion validity - Measurement validity - Relies on some independent outside verification o Two types  Concurrent  Predictive Concurrent validity - Measurement validity that relies on a pre existing and already accepted measure to verify the indicator or a construct Predictive - Measurement validity that relies on the occurrence of a future event or behaviour that is logically consistent to verify the indicator of a construct Internal validity - There are no errors internal to the design of the research project - Make casual explanation by eliminating alternative explanations External validity - The ability to generalize findings from a small group to a broad range of settings and people Statistical validity - Correct statistical procedures is chosen and assumptions are met Levels of measurement - A system that organizes the information in the measurement of variables infro four general levels - Nominal level to ratio level Continuous variable - Variables measured on a continuum in which an infinite number of finer gradations between variable attributes are possible Discrete variable - Relatively fixed set of values that could be present - E.g. male or female Nominal measures - Least precise level of measurement - Only that there is a difference among catagories - E.g. religion Ordinal measures - Difference among categories and can be ranked - E.g. letter grades (A,B,C) Interval measures - Differences, ranks and measures distance between catagories - E.g. percentage test scores Ratio measures - Differences, ranks, distance and an absolute zero exists - E.g. yearly income Mutually exclusive attributes - An individual or case fits into one and only one attribute of a variable - No overlap Exhaustive attributes - All cases fit into one of the attributes of a variable - Must be a category for everyone Unidimensionality - All items in a scale of index fit together, or measure a single construct Standardization - Selecting a base, and deviding a raw measure by the base - Unemployment rate = number of unemployed/total working Scale - Quantitative data measure often used in survey research - Captures intensity of a variable along a continuum Likert scale - People express responses in terms of several ordinal level categories - E.g. agree, disagree Semantic differential - Indirect measure of how a person feels about a concept using adjectives - Using polar opposites (strong/weak) Chapter 7 Sample - A smaller set of cases a researcher selects from a larger pool and generalizes the population Census - An attempt to count everyone in a target population Nonrandom sample - Type of sample in which the sapling elements are selected using something other than a mathermatical random process Haphazard sampling - Type of non-random sample - Researcher selects anyone he comes across Quota sampling - Type of non-random sample - Identifies relevant categories of people (male/female) then decides how many to get from each category Purposive sampling - Type of non-random sample - Expert uses judgement in selecting cases with a particular purpose in mind - Used for exploratory research Deviant case sampling - Non-random - Researcher seeks cases that differ from the predominant characteristics of other cases Snowball sampling - Non-random - Used to sample a network - Begins with one case and spreads out on the basis of links to the initial case Sociogram - Diagram that shows the network of social relationships, influence patterns or communication paths - Diagram of circles connected with lines Sequential sampling - Non random - Tries to find as many relevant cases as possible until time, money and resources are exhausted and there is no new information or diversity from the c
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