Methods variable exercise
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  • 1. Start with a broad question Does where you grow up influence your viewsof the criminal justice system?
  • 2. Conceptualizing theIndependent variable "where you grow up" = environment
  • 3. Dimension of environment: Region of U.S. Attributes: West Coast, Northeast, South, Southeast, Midwest
  • 4. Dimension of environment: Type of community Attributes: Rural, Suburban, Urban
  • 5. Operationalizing Indicators for region:State of residence, assigned to regions (see attributes) Indicators of community type:zip code, assigned to type (see attributes)
  • 6. Conceptualizing the Dependent variable"views of criminal justice system" = support for death penalty
  • 7. Dimension of support: civic participation Attributes: Voting in favor or against
  • 8. Dimension of support: opinions Attributes:Always support, in some cases, in rare cases, always against
  • 9. Operationalizing Indicators for civic participation: Individuals voting record onproposition banning death penalty Indicators of opinions: Ordinal scale 0 to 4 (0=always opposed, 4=always in favor)
  • 10. Now you are ready to re-state your broad question How does the environment in which an individual lives impact views on the death penalty?
  • 11. What are some problemsor limits of my variables?