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Criterion is when a measure relates to some external criterion Construct compares two variables that should be related. How well a measure of a concept is associated with a measure of another concept that some theory says the first concept should be associated with
Content asks if it covers the whole possible range.
03 - Measurement, Conceptualization, and Operationalization
(what and how)
• Active, careful, deliberate observations
• Assigning numbers or labels to units of
analysis to represent conceptual properties
• NOT "Some things happened over that way to
• Fully describe our methods
• Allows replication and quality
• The process begins with the
research problem or
– What the heck are we
• Goes from the fuzzy and abstract to the
specific and concrete
• From a concept to the measure of concept
The Concept of Lying
• Everyday concepts do not have
– "You look good in that dress."
– "Santa's watching you!"
– "The check is in the mail."
– "I did not have sex with that
– "I didn’t want to hurt them, I only
wanted to kill them."
Things We Measure
• Direct Observables
– "My hair is blonde"
• Indirect Observables
– Writing "blonde" as hair color on a form
– "Fun" as measured on a scale made up from
several direct or indirect observables
• Does measuring IQ mean that it really
measures intelligence? What about grades?
• Can they be useful regardless?
A Rose By Any Other Name
• Real: "Have you ever
really looked at your
• Nominal: "The part of
me that has a mustache
is my hand."
• Operational: "Okay,
Luke's hand is actually
robotic, but we'll treat
it the same as a hand."
How far will you go?
Decide & be clear about your range of variation
How can you measure?
• Verbal or Self-Reported
– Ask people
– Watch people
• Archival Records
– Look through people's houses… er, no.
Levels of Measurement
• Nominal: Names
– The names of all your survey respondents
• Ordinal: Ranks
– How "blonde" someone is on a scale
• Interval: Numbers ("how much")
– Blonde #5 vs. Blonde #3.2
• Ratio: Interval with a true zero
– How many days you've had blonde hair
• Get the same measure
– "After thinking about it, I'm
not sure I'm blonde.."
– "This half of my hair is
blonde. Is the other half?"
• Face Validity
– "Yup, they're blonde."
• Criterion Related Validity
– "I see hair dye. They're probably blonde now."
• Construct Validity
– "If they're blonde, they should be having fun."
• Content Validity
– "But what about people who only dye SOME
White American Basketball League’s
• "Only players that are natural born United
States citizens with both parents of Caucasian
race are eligible to play in the league," the
• Lewis said he wants to emphasize
fundamental basketball instead of "street-
ball" played by "people of color."
White Basketball League (cont)
• "Would you want to go to the game and worry
about a player flipping you off or attacking you
in the stands or grabbing their crotch?" he
said. "That's the culture today, and in a free
country we should have the right to move
ourselves in a better direction.
• What do you
• "One Drop
• Italians, Irish,
• Can you really
measure "race" by
how often a person
flips you off, attacks
you in the stands,
and grabs their
Once, Twice, Three Times a Lady of the
Night: DC Cops Can Arrest You for
Carrying More Than Two Condoms
• A spokesperson later clarified that "sufficient
cause" can be "congregating with at least one
other person ... late at night with no apparent
destination, and in possession of multiple
condoms […in a prostitution free zone.]"
• So where's the problems with this?
And really, what identifies a prostitute,
• Conceptualize "prostitute"
– What does it "mean"?
• Operationalize "prostitute"
– How do you measure it
– Without "false positives"?