The Scientific Study of Politics (POL 51) Today At Long Last, Measurement Measurement Operational Definition
Brachowski, Stacey, Managing Editor has reference to this Academic Journal, PHwiki organized this Journal The Scientific Study of Politics (POL 51) Professor B. Jones University of Cali as long as nia, Davis Today Measurement/Observation Asking Questions Surveys Ethical Issues in Research At Long Last, Measurement Data are clearly important But how clear are your data Presumption: you know your y in addition to x i How are you going to measure these things
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Measurement The concept of operation definition Defining concepts Establishing the rules as long as measurement Gives precise meaning to the particular concept under study Another way of thinking about it is this: gives a precise measurable meaning to a larger concept Liberal Conservative Big concepts: we need a rule to establish measurement. Operational Definition Consider your current homework assignment. That is: what was y in addition to x in addition to the concepts underlying them The operational definition comes into play in underst in addition to ing how we measure this concept. How am I explicitly doing this in the assignment Other ways Of course! Research involves choices. Choices involve measurement. The Concept of Levels of Measurement Textbook definitions Nominal Ordinal Interval Ratio St in addition to ard sort of stuff here. The different types do have implications as long as analysis.
The Jacoby Article which you must read! Among his main arguments are Measurement is inherently theory testing. Why does he say this; what does this mean Consider the way we measure partisanship in this country ( in addition to how its used in many academic studies). NES Partisanship Question ============================================================================= VCF0301 7-pt Scale Party Identification ============================================================================= QUESTION: — Generally speaking, do you usually think of yourself as a Republican, a Democrat, an Independent, or what (IF REPUBLICAN OR DEMOCRAT) Would you call yourself a strong (REP/DEM) or a not very strong (REP/DEM) (IF INDEPENDENT, OTHER [1966 AND LATER: OR NO PREFERENCE]:) Do you think of yourself as closer to the Republican or Democratic party VALID-CODES: — Strong Democrat 2. Weak Democrat 3. Independent – Democrat 4. Independent – Independent 5. Independent – Republican 6. Weak Republican 7. Strong Republican 9. Apolitical (1966 only: in addition to DK) MISSING-CODES: — 0. DK; NA; other; refused to answer; no Pre IW Inap. question not used Assumptions Made By Measurement There exists ordering Symmetry Independents are in between Democrats in addition to Republicans Do you believe this The issue with using this indicator as a measure as long as partisanship. We have made explicit assumptions about how the world exists through our very measure.
Jacoby Argument Measurement levels usually regarded as fixed characteristics of data. They may not be. Meanings of scales may change. Analysis can get very complicated! But lets return to measurement in addition to operationally defining variables. A Pedagogical Illustration Evaluation of Illegal Immigrants=f(Belief in Equality) How would you measure this Whats the proper unit of analysis Lets work on y Any Ideas Survey Behavioral Indicators Suppose we agree on a survey What kind of question(s) are you going to ask What you ask constitutes our operational definition of the moving parts. Some Survey Questions Do you like or dislike illegal immigrants Binary Variable (1=like, 0=dislike) Nominally measured (its a category) Problems Issues Think about illegal immigrants. On a scale of 0, which denotes the coolest ratings, in addition to 100, which denotes the warmest ratings, where do you rate this group Feeling Thermometer What is the scale (Ordinal Interval Ratio) Its in a gray area, in practice. Problems Issues
Some More Survey Questions We hear a lot of talk these days about amnesty as long as illegal immigrants. How about you Would support or oppose an amnesty program as long as illegal immigrants Root Question If Oppose, how strongly Strongly oppose or moderately oppose Branch Question (Strength follow-up) If Favor, how strongly Strongly favor or moderately favor Survey Questions End Result: 4-point scale 1. Strongly oppose 2. Moderately oppose 3. Moderately favor 4. Strongly favor Likert-type scale True Likert scales are agree/disagree as long as mat All are semantically balanced. Ordinally measured Problems Issues with this one Other ways to ask about attitudes Guttman Scales Abortion: Parental Notification Required Counseling Validity Clearly many ways to measure y A good measure is a valid one. Validity: does it measure what it is supposed to measure This is the essence of validity Think about my Likert-type scale The other questions Many kinds of validity Face Validity ( seems valid) Content Validity (full domain of concept measured) External Validity Internal Validity (Experiments) Clearly An Important Issue!!
Valid Measures VALIDITY Another question: Do you think illegal immigrants, people who clearly take away jobs from Americans, are bad or good as long as the economy Do you support measures as long as sustainable energy or support policies that continue trends in global warming KNOW WHAT THE QUESTION IS. We know full well that subtle changes in question wording can induce substantial changes in responses. RELIABILITY Another hallmark of good measurement is reliability Does the measurement procedure produce consistent results over repeated trials Surveys: you would be wary of a question that exhibited high variability over a short period of time. Bathroom Scale: what does reliability mean here Implications of unreliable data What produces unreliable data Bad research designs Unethical Designs Designs to make a predetermined point. Poor Samples. Reliability in addition to Validity Not just academic concepts Governmental Statistics What if policy hangs on invalid or unreliable data Sometimes in politics, individuals have incentives to deceive. Again, good design matters!
Generating Data Youve settled on a measure, now youve got to collect (generate, produce, etc.) the data. Variety of Ways Direct Observation: watch in addition to record Richard Fennos Home Style soak in addition to poke Structured vs. Unstructured (a la Fenno) Participant Observation Advantages Disadvantages Overt vs. Covert Observation Issues The Hawthorne Effect An issue with direct, overt observation. The Problem: people know theyre being observed. The general problem: people may adjust their behavior simply because theyre being observed. The original study is much in doubt as is the effect. However The Hawthorne Effect in Surveys Granberg in addition to Holmberg (1992) Face-to-Face Interviewing Sort of like direct observation. Interviewer Effects Social Desirability People may temper/alter attitudes simply because they know their responses are recorded How might you mitigate this problem
Social Desirability Effects in Surveys The Bradley Effect What is it The theory of the Bradley effect is that the inaccurate polls have been skewed by the phenomenon of social desirability bias. Specifically, some white voters give inaccurate polling responses as long as fear that, by stating their true preference, they will open themselves to criticism of racial motivation. The reluctance to give accurate polling answers has sometimes extended to post-election exit polls as well. The race of the pollster conducting the interview may factor in to voters’ answers. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bradley-effect) Possible Implications Evidence Projection Effects Contrast Effects Implications as long as Measurement How much can we trust the polls The measure Always look at margins-of-error. Bad data Push polls Polls where the answer is already known We hear about ethics in campaigns What about research What are the concerns Ethics in addition to Measurement There is a trade-off between what we might want to do, in addition to what we can do. Ethical considerations are considerably important here. Studies horribly conceived: The Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment National Research Act (1974) Belmont Report (1979) What about social sciences
Observation in addition to Ethics Observation is potentially intrusive. Observation has many serious pitfalls Privacy concerns (think about Internet monitoring in addition to I.P. tracking) Safety concerns (in a variety of as long as ms) Mental or physical health issues Institutional Review Boards What are they Should you, as a potential student research, be concerned (Yes) Milgrim Experiment (1963) Obedience to Authority S. Milgrim Nature in addition to intent of study Findings (Quote from 1974 article, The Perils of Obedience; quote cut in addition to pasted from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milgram-experiment) The legal in addition to philosophic aspects of obedience are of enormous importance, but they say very little about how most people behave in concrete situations. I set up a simple experiment at Yale University to test how much pain an ordinary citizen would inflict on another person simply because he was ordered to by an experimental scientist. Stark authority was pitted against the subjects’ [participants’] strongest moral imperatives against hurting others, in addition to , with the subjects’ [participants’] ears ringing with the screams of the victims, authority won more often than not. The extreme willingness of adults to go to almost any lengths on the comm in addition to of an authority constitutes the chief finding of the study in addition to the fact most urgently dem in addition to ing explanation. Ethical Issues Design Image from Wikipedia Commons http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Milgram-experiment.png
Stan as long as d Prison Experiments P. Zimbardo, 1971 A Brief Overview Go to http://www.prisonexp.org/ as long as more details (warning: content may be disturbing/offensive to some). Ethical Issues These two examples are obviously extreme to the limit. Other Ethical Issues Inaccurate/False Measurement Not always detectable or reported Original Hawthorne Study Conflicts of Interest Can you objectively study a drugs effectiveness if youre being funded by the pharmaceutical company who makes the drug Researcher Bias In politics, this can become a real issue. Proper Attribution Give credit where credit is due. Choice of Research Question can have Emergent Issues
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