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Canada (156,138)
Psychology (9,443)
PSYB01H3 (583)
Chapter 4

Chapter 4

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University of Toronto Scarborough
David Nussbaum

Chapter 4: Conceptualization and Measurement Measuring Mental Health and Mental Illness Developing and Defining Constructs Psychological theory: provides conceptual framework for research, meaning of key terms and identifies how variables are measured or operationalized Theoretical Constructs Constructs: abstract concepts; specified in a theory to describe explain and predict a wide range of empirical findings ex. Intelligence, personality, memory; includes several indicators that are made into variables Operational Definitions of Constructs Specify three different dependent variables on the same construct and the independent variables that produce the dependent variables Staged manipulation: false story to manipulate them Ex. Interpersonal violence use independent variable of staged manipulation and measured dependent variable of how loud blasted with noise cut; or independent variable of narcissism Intervening variable: mediates relationship between independent and dependant variable ex. Perceived threat links narcissism and decibel level; hypothetical internal states that are critical components of the deductive structure of a theory Building Constructs  Positive psychology: scientific study of ordinary human strengths and virtues; learn about human thriving, flourishing, optimism, resilience, joy and capabilities o Mental Health: a state of successful performance of mental function resulting in productive activities, fulfilling relationships with people, and the ability to adapt to change and cope with adversity o Mental Illness: presence of particular symptoms of a specific disorder that interferes with aspects of everyday functioning in areas like work, leisure, school and interpersonal relationships o Measured using self report ratings of everyday feelings and activities as well DSM interviews of variables like happiness, satisfaction, daily activities, missed work days o Validity: how well the variables correlate and how well they distinguish or discriminate mental illness and mental health Measurement of Psychological Constructs  Measurement: assignment of numerals to variables (objects or events) according to some objective rule  Ex. Anxiety; three different variables using different forms of measurement galvanized skin response, self report, and observational Advantages of Multiple Methods  Formed distinct groups: mental illness and languishing, pure mental illness, pure languishing, moderately mentally healthy, completely mentally healthy  Multiple methods of measurement essential to develop complete understanding of phenomenon; can test whether multiple methods of measurement are related and how they add to the understanding of a given construct Levels of Measurement o Scale: way numbers are used in measurement o Must all be mutually exclusive and exhaustive  Nominal level of Measurement: categorical or qualitative or attributes; identifies variable whose values have no mathematical interpretation; o Must be mutually exclusive (every case has only one attribute) and exhaustive (every case has a attribute) o Numbers assigned have no meaning o The Special case of Dichotomies: variables having only 2 values; ex. Male and female; numbering doesn't matter  Ordinal Level of Measurement: numbers assigned allow for greater than and less than distinctions; ranking scale o Likert scale: scale from 0 worst/least to 10 best/most o Must be mutually exclusive and exhaustive o However numbers do not indicate magnitude of difference between ranks  Interval Level of Measurement: scale with fixed measurements but no absolute or fixed zero point (ex. Fahrenheit scale) ; can add and subtract but ratios are meaningless o Ex. Intelligence, personality, aptitude, o Values mutually exclusive and exhaustive  Ratio level of Measurement: fixed measuring units and an absolute zero point ex. Weight, income o Can look at ratios  Comparison of Levels of Measurement o Quantitative: ordinal, interval, ratio; qualitative: nominal o Nonparametric statistics: test hypotheses for variables that use either a nominal or ordinal scale of measurement ex. Chi square test o Median: middle position among responses can be done in ordinal, interval and ratio o Parametric statistics: used with variables that are measured on either an interval or ratio scale ex. T test statistic ; more powerful test Psychometric Tests and Measurement Psychometrics: school of psychology that studies the application of psychological tests as objective measures of the mind Culture Counts  For theoretical constructs variables only partially capture them ex. Intelligence and IQ  15 point IQ gap between all caste-like minorities and nonstigmatized members of society  Hereditarian view of i
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