- Research Methods in FCS
Family and Consumer Sciences
Spring Semesters - Tuesday Evenings
Instructor: David D. Witt, Ph.D.
Key Terms Part 2
KEY TERMS #3 - Measurement
- Use each term in a sentence to illustrate your
understanding of the concept.
- Operationalization of a concept means
translating the ideal into a representation in
real terms, such as the idea of AGE translated
into answers to the question "HOW OLD WERE YOU
AT THE TIME OF YOUR LAST BIRTHDAY.
Researchers translate the idea of what they want
to measure into the real measure.
- Construct validity is the degree to which
inferences can legitimately be made from the
operationalizations in your study to the
theoretical constructs on which those
operationalizations are based. To evaluate this
type of validity, the dependent "construct" in
question should be correlated to other variables
known to be related to the dependent variable.
- Content validity refers to a variable's
ability to cover the entire content domain of
the theoretical construct. For example, in many
cases, a theoretical construct is a broad idea
that requires more measurement than a single
item can accomplish, such as socioeconomic
status (which requires measures of income,
education, and occupational prestige).
- Face validity simply means that a variable,
“on its face”, seems like a good translation of
the construct - a good measure.
- Mono-method bias is a threat to construct
validity that occurs because you use only a
single method of measurement. To
strengthen construct validity, multiple methods
should be employed.
- Predictive validity is a type of construct
validity based on the idea that your measure is
able to predict what it theoretically should be
able to predict.
- Reliability is the degree to which a measure
is consistent or dependable, giving the same
result every time it is used. Think of
reliability as the accuracy of a rifle.
- Threats to construct validity are factors that
lead to incorrect conclusions about whether your
operationalized variables reflect well the
construct they are intended to represent.
Key Terms #4 - Survey Research - Use each term in a
sentence to illustrate your understanding of the
- Dichotomous response format is a questionnaire
item with two possible responses. It is
undesirable in research.
- Electronic survey is any survey instrument
that is administered to participants through an
electronic medium, such as email or the web.
- A Filter or contingency question is one in
which respondents are asked to determine whether
they are qualified or experienced enough to
answer a subsequent one.
- A Focus group is a form of measurement where
group input on one or more topics is collected
from participants. The discussion is structured
and guided by a facilitator.
- Level of measurement is a concept that
determines the appropriate statistical rigor for
- A Nominal level measure has a number beside
each choice where the number has no meaning
except as a placeholder for that response,
such as 1=male and 2=female, eye color, etc.
- An Ordinal measure would ask respondents to
rank their feelings, attitudes, or
preferences. For example "low", "medium" and
"high" tells us that low is less than high,
but does not say anything about how much less
it is from high.
- Interval-level measures are like Ordinal
measures with the added feature of having the
same interval from one response to the
next. Degrees on a thermometer, inches
on a ruler, blood cell count are examples
- Ratio-Level response format has the
qualities of Interval-level but also has a
non-arbitrary zero point.
- Scaling involves the construction of a
measurement instrument that associates
qualitative constructs with quantitative metric
units. The result would be a point on the scale
that characterizes an attitude, value, or other
- A Likert scale is a response format that uses
a multi-point integer scale. For example, a
scale where 1=strongly disagree, 2=disagree,
3=no opinion, 4=agree and 5=strongly agree would
be a Likert-type scale.
- Response brackets: A question response type
that includes groups of answers, such as between
30 and 39 years old, or between $50,000 and
$59,000 annual income.
- Semantic differential scale is a scaling
method in which an object is assessed by the
respondent on a set of bipolar adjective pairs.
For example, rate yourself on these items:
Weak ---1---2---3---4---5 Strong
Gabby ---1---2---3---4---5 Quiet
- Unstructured response formats are essentially
open-ended questions, such as "Tell me about
your first date:
- A Structured response format is one in which
the response set is determined during
questionnaire construction, as in a regular
questionnaire item with specific choices.
- Guttman scale is one in which the items are
assigned values that allow them to be placed in
a cumulative ordering with respect to the
construct being scaled. The Bogardus
social distance scale is a Guttman scale
designed to empirically measure people's
willingness to participate in social contacts
with increasing degrees of closeness. The scale
asks people the extent to which they would be accepting
of each group (a score of 1.00 for a
group is taken to indicate no social distance):
- As close relatives by marriage (score 1.00)
- As my close personal friends (2.00)
- As neighbors on the same street (3.00)
- As co-workers in the same occupation (4.00)
- As citizens in my country (5.00)
- As only visitors in my country (6.00)
- Would exclude from my country (7.00)