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28 Cards in this Set

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  • Back
what is reliability
That quality of measurement that suggests that the same data would have been collected each time in repeated observations of the same phenomenon.
In the context of a survey, we would expect that the question “Did you attend religious services last week?” would have higher reliability than the question “About how many times have you attended religious services in your life
checking for reliability
Test-retest method - take the same measurement more than once.
Split-half method - make more than one measurement of a social concept (prejudice or alienation).
Use established measures.
A term describing a measure that accurately reflects the concept it is intended to measure (the nominal definition and the measurement mesh well).

Example: Ability to answer complex questions would seem a more valid measure of intelligence than the number of hours spent in the library.
Though the ultimate validity of a measure can never be proved, we may agree to its relative validity on the basis of face validity, criterion validity, content validity, construct validity, internal validation, and external validation.
4 types of validity
face, criterion-related, construct, content
face validity
That quality of an indicator that makes it seem a logical measure of some variable.

That the frequency of attendance at religious services is some indication of a person’s religiosity seems to make sense without a lot of explanation
criterion-related validity
the degree to which a measure relates to some external criterion. ex. the validity of the college board is shown in their ability to predict the college success of students. also called predictive validity
construct validity
the degree to whifch a measure relates to other variables as expected within a system of theoretical relationships.
The degree to which a measure relates to other variables as expected within a system of relationships.
content validity
the degree to which a measure convers the range of meanings included within a concept.
Refers to how much a measure covers the range of meanings included within a concept.
tensions between reliability and valididty
reliable operational definitions and measuremment seems to rob concepts of their richness of meaning, yet the more variation and richness we allow for a concept, the more opportunity there is for disagreement on how it applies to a particular situation, thus reducing reliablilty.
single indicators
if you get one piece of info than you have what you need. ex. how many children does a family have
multiple indicators
several observations for a given variable. you can then combine the several pieces of info you've collected, creating a composite measurement of the variable in question.
ex. examining why a college student doesn't do so well. have multiple indicators, gpa, courses...
range of variation
to what extent are they willing to combine attributes in farily gross categories?
want to measure peoples income in a study by collecting the info from either records or interviews. some people are going to make a lot more, so you have to have a high and low floor where the majority of the people fit in.
variations between the extremes
degree of precision is a second consideration in operationalizing variables. why we are making a particular measurement, get too much info rather that too little. when analyzing what to combine attributes into more general categories, but you can never separate any variations you lumped together during observation and measurement.
sometime researchers sometimes never notice that they'yre not exactly clear about which dimensions of a variable they're really interested in. once you do your investigation, you have to decide which levels of dimensions you want to use.
ex. corruption in the government
nominal measure
A level of measurement describing a variable that has attributes that are merely different, as distinguished from ordinal, interval, or ratio measures.

Gender is an example of a nominal measure.
Ordinal Measure
A level of measurement describing a variable with attributes we can rank-order along some dimension.

An example is socioeconomic status (SES) or social class, as composed of the attributes high, medium, low/upper, middle or lower.
Interval Measures
A level of measurement describing a variable whose attributes are rank-ordered and have equal distances between adjacent attributes.

An example is IQ scores
Ratio Measures
A level of measurement describing a variable with attributes that have all the qualities of nominal, ordinal, and interval measures and in addition are based on a “true zero” point.
An example is income, age, or anything that can be measured and allows for comparisons
operational concepts
An operational definition specifies precisely how a concept will be measured that is, the operations we’ll perform, the data we need.
nominal concepts
Simply assigned to a term for the purposes of study.
Is an aspect of a concept
If several different indicators all represent the same concept, all of them will behave the same way the concept would behave if it were real and could be observed.
we chose to consider as a reflection of a variable we wish to study. ex. attending church might be considered an indicator of religiousity
indicators example
if women were more compassionate only on some indicators, we should see if the indicators represent different dimensions of compassion.
The definition of concept in social inquiry depends on nominal and operational definitions. Difficult to measure directly.
are constructs derived by mutual agreement from mental images (conceptions). our conceptions summarize collections of seemingly related observations and experiences.
Often our concepts are difficult to measure directly… process of defining what we mean when we use particular terms. Produces an agreed upon meaning for a concept for the purposes of research. Describes the different aspects of the concept.
The mental process whereby sometimes fuzzy and imprecise notions are made more specific and precise (**remember, this is for the purposes of a specific research study—the same concept can be defined slightly differently depending on the study)
dimensions example
grouping the entries into feelings and actions. we might speak of the feeling dimension of compassion and the action dimensions of conpassion. we might, in different grouping schemes, distinguish compassion for humans from compassion for animals.
operationalization and conceptualization
operationalization, for the tow are initmately linked. conceptualization os the refinement and specification of abstract concepts, and operalization is the development of specific research procedures (operations) that will result in emprical observations representing those concepts in the real world.
examples of reliability
ask two different people to estiimate my weight. if one person says 150 and the other says 300 this is not a reliable answer.