CCT208 - Chapter 6 Notes

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Communication, Culture and Technology
Divya Maharajh

CCT208H5S Chapter 6 Notes Asém Harun Chapter 6 – Qualitative and Quantitative Measurement Introduction - Quantitative researchers are concerned about measurement issues (how many, facts, numbers, information etc.) than are qualitative researchers (feelings, insights, understandings etc.). - Measurement is seen as a distinct step in the research process that occurs prior to data collection. (Deductive approach) - Qualitative researchers’ inductive approach develops ways to capture and express variable and non-variable concepts using various alternatives to numbers. Why Measure? - Measurements in a way, extend our senses. (Telescope extends natural vision, thermometer gives better measurement of weather than our touch, bathroom scale is more precise than lifting someone and calling them ‘heavy/light’ Quantitative and Qualitative Measurement - A difference between the two styles involves timing. Quantitative researchers think about variables and convert them into specific actions during a planning stage that occurs before and separate from gathering/analyzing data. Measurement for qualitative researchers occurs during the data collection process. - Second difference is the data itself. Quantitative researchers develop techniques that can produce quantitative data (data in form of numbers). However data for qualitative researchers can be in numbers but often includes written/spoken words, actions, sounds, symbols, images etc. - A third difference is how the two styles make such linkages. Quantitative researchers contemplate and reflect on concepts before they gather data. Qualitative researchers also reflect on ideas before data collection, but they develop many of their concepts during data collection. Parts of the Measurement Process - Conceptualization: the process of taking a construct and refining it by giving it a conceptual/theoretical definition. - Conceptual Definition: is a definition in abstract, theoretical terms. It refers to other ideas/constructs. It involves thinking carefully, observing directly, consulting with others, reading what others have said, and trying possible definitions. - Prejudice: an attitude about another group and involves a prejudgment, or judging prior to getting specific information. - Operationalization: links a conceptual definition to a specific set of measurement techniques/procedures, the constructs operational definition. An operational definition could be a survey questionnaire, a method of observing events in a field setting, a way to measure symbolic content in the mass media, or any process carried out by the CCT208H5S Chapter 6 Notes Asém Harun researcher that reflects, documents, or represents the abstract construct as it is express in the conceptual definition. (Links language of theory with the language of empirical measures) Quantitative Conceptualization and Operationalization - Measurement process for quantitative research flows in straightforward sequence: o Conceptualization o Operationalization o Applying the operational definition or measuring to collect the data - Conceptual hypothesis: type of hypothesis where researcher expresses variables in abstract, conceptual terms and expresses the relationship among variables in a theoretical way. - Empirical hypothesis: type of hypothesis where researcher expresses variables in specific terms and expresses the association among the measured indicators of observable, empirical evidence. - A researcher first conceptualizes a variable, giving it a clear conceptual definition. Next, s/he operationalizes it by developing an operational definition/set of indicators for it. Last, s/he applies the indicators in the empirical world. The links from abstract constructs to empirical reality allow the researcher to test empirical hypotheses. Qualitative Conceptualization and Operationalization - Instead of refining abstract ideas into theoretical definitions early in the research process, qualitative researchers refine rudimentary ‘working ideas’ during the data collection and analysis process. - As the researcher gathers/analyzes qualitative data, s/he develops new concepts, formulates definitions for the concepts, and considers relationships among the concepts. - Qualitative researchers form the concepts as they examine their data (field notes, photos etc.). - In this method, conceptualization is largely determined by the data. - A researcher forms conceptual definitions out of rudimentary working ideas that s/he used while making observations or gathering data. - Qualitative researcher operationalizes by describing how specific observations and thoughts about the data contributed to working ideas that are the basis of conceptual definitions and theoretical concepts. (Data gathering occurs with prior to full operationalization) Reliability and Validity - Reliability: dependability or consistency. Suggests that the same thing is repeated or recurs under the identical or very similar conditions. CCT208H5S Chapter 6 Notes Asém Harun - Validity: suggests truthfulness and refers to the match between a construct, or the way researcher conceptualizes the idea in a conceptual definition, and a measure. Refers to how well an idea about reality ‘fits’ with actual reality. Reliability and Validity in Quantitative Research - Reliability in quantitative research means that numerical results do not vary in the measurement process. (Ex. Going on a bathroom scale and seeing the weight is the same each time I step on it is valid, however if the weight keeps changing then the tool is broken and thus unreliable) - Reliability could be improved by o Clearly conceptualizing all constructs o Increase the level of measurement o Using multiple indicators of a variable o Using pretests, pilot studies and replication - Measurement validity: how well an empirical indicator and the conceptual definition of the construct that the indicator is supposed to measure ‘fit’ together. - Types of Validity o Face Validity (In the judgment of others)  The indicator really measures the construct. Do people believe that the definition and method of measurements fit? (Asking a college student what 2+2 is, In order to see how well they are in math is a horrible validity.) o Content Validity (captures the entire meaning)  Is the full content of a definition represented in a measure? Measures should represent all ideas/areas in the conceptual space. o Criterion Validity (agrees with an external source)  Validity of an indicator is verified by comparing it with another measure of the same construct that is widely accepted. Two types: • Concurrent Validity
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