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Chapter 5

Chapter 5 Research Methods Notes.docx

Marketing and Consumer Studies
Course Code
MCS 3030
Tanya Mark

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Chapter 5 Research Methods Notes
Scales & Indexes
Index: A quantitative score that measures a construct of interest by applying a formula or set of rules that combine
relevant data
A score (numerical value) that reportedly measures something
- Is a composite: puts different variables together
Variables are put together using a rule or set of rules
- Usually construct an index b/c we want to measure something that none of the individual components alone does a
good job of measuring
5-1 A Some Common Indexes
CPI (Consumer Price Index)
- Collected monthly by Bureau of Labor Stats
- Based on 8 Major categories of spending for the typical consumer (food/beverage, housing, apparel,
transportation, medical care, recreation, education and communication, and other goods/services)
- Break down these 8 areas into 200 specific categories
- Complicated weighting scheme that takes into account things like the location & probability that the item will be
purchases is used to combine prices
SES (Socioeconomic Status Index)
- Always involves combo of several very different types of variables
- Traditionally a combo of 3 constructs: income, education & occupation
Income measured in dollars, education might be measured in years or degrees achieved, and occupation
broken down into levels of
- Now typically referred to as Duncan socioeconomic index (SEI)
All you need to know is occupation of person and you can look up SEI score that presumably reflects the
status of the occupation as
related to both education & income.
5-1 B Constructing an Index
1. Conceptualize the index: Decide what you want the index to measure
- E.g. If you were measuring “Quality of life,” what components would you need to include to capture the construct
2. Operationalize & Measure the components: Figure out how you’re going to measure each component
- May need to calculate the proportion for components if can’t average
3. Develop the rules before calculating the index score: Once you have the components that you think make up the
construct of interest, you need to figure out how to combine these component scores to create a single index score.
- Sometimes, these rules can be stated as a set of procedures that you follow to compute the index (like a recipe) and
sometimes the rules are essentially a formula or set of formulas (a simple average of several components is
essentially a formula)
4. Are you giving each component equal weight or are you constructing a weighted index score?
Weighted Index: A quantitative score that measures a construct of interest by applying a formula or set of rule that
combines relevant data where the data components are weighted differently
5. Validate the index score: Once you have constructed the index, you will need to validate it
- If the index score is going to be used over and over it is really important to do periodic validation studies to make
sure how they relate to the index score hasn’t changed
Scaling: Branch of measurement that involves the construction of an instrument that associates qualitative
constructs w/ quantitative metric units
- Typically designed to yield a single numerical score that represents the construct of interest
Generally divided into 2 broad categories: one-dimensional and multidimensional
5-2 A General Issues in Scaling
- In most scaling, the objects are text statements usually statements of attitude or belief.
To scale these statements, you have to assign numbers to them (usually would like the result to be on at least
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