Discussion Pt.2

3.2 Consider a research topic you are interested in (by now you should be getting a clearer idea of what you want your Research Proposal to be about). As with every discussion question, explain why you reached the conclusions you did and support your position as best you can with logic and evidence. In most of our discussion questions, there is no one clear right or wrong answer, so you must convince everyone with the quality of your position. Let us “see” you think in your post. Find out more information about them by looking up sound sources on the web. Include any links you used at the end of your post so that others may read them for themselves. With that in mind, discuss the following:
(a.) Describe a concept that you would wish to measure using a composite scale or index. What is the range of “values” it might take on? How many measures will you use to triangulate your estimate?
(b.) How would you operationalize this idea? Be very specific. It should be a set of instructions and criteria that could guide actual data collection.
(c.) What are the strengths and weaknesses of this measurement approach for this variable, given the context of your research project?

Scales & Indices 9/5/2012 11:57:25 AM
 Class:

In this second topic of the week, I’m encouraging you to think about measurement in a different way, as compared to the first. Scales and indices are constructed by combining multiple empirical measures into one indicator. In this thread, you might discuss a different way of measuring the same variable you discussed in the first thread, or you might discuss how you would measure another variable you plan to include in your proposal.

As with any other decision we make, there are strengths and weaknesses. For example, “socio-economic status” (SES) or “social class” are often measured through indices that combine variable like income, education level, and occupational prestige. Why? Well, because each of these is one component of what we think of when we think of a person’s “social class.” But how do we measure each of these components, and how do we put them together?

Constructing a good scale or index is not easy, but in this discussion I’m acting you to give it a shot — then help one another by providing constructive suggestions! 🙂

Best,
Dr. Payne
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