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In quantitative research, the measurement of social concepts begins with first conceptualizing them (i.e. explaining exactly what we mean by the concepts) and then operationalizing them (i.e. specifically defining how we will make our observations of the concepts). Simple concepts (like ‘educational level’) may involve simple measures; complex concepts (like ‘job satisfaction’) may involve more complex measures. The objective of this paper assignment is for you to develop a measurement strategy of your own.
In developing your measurement strategy, please be sure to consider the following:
- Identify an area of the social sciences that you are interested in (e.g. marriage and family, crime and criminal justice, social problems, social class, etc.).
- Identify a concept (e.g. attitudes toward the government, marital satisfaction, delinquency, mental illness, etc.) that receives attention in this area. Peer-reviewed journal articles provide insight into which concepts are currently receiving the most attention.
- Describe how you might conceptualize this concept.
- Describe one or more measurement strategies for operationalizing this concept. Identify indicators with which to classify your units of analysis into two or more categories (categories should be exhaustive).
- Identify the level of measurement of this concept (i.e. nominal, ordinal, interval, or ratio). Provide support for choosing this level of measurement.
- Discuss the reliability and validity of your measurement strategy. How will you check the reliability of this strategy? How will you check the validity of this strategy?
In quantitative research, the measurement of social concepts begins with first conceptualizing them (i.e. explaining exactly what we mean by the concepts) and then operationalizing them (i.e. specifically defining how we will make our observations of the concepts).