Child Development 133 (03, 04,
72, 73 & 74)
Research Methods in Human Development

Hembree            Spring, 2013

 
Measurement

I. Measurement Issues

A. Behavior can be described in a variety of ways…

 

 

  B. Constructs and the problem of measurement

1. Hypotheses and constructs (ideas).

   

 

2. operational definitions and conceptual definitions

 

   

 

Discussion 

Name some constructs that cannot be seen but that are important to our everyday lives.  How would you go about operationally defining these in an experiment? How does an operational definition limit our understanding of a construct?

 

            C. Scales of measurement

1.  Nominal (or categorical)

 

 

2. Ordinal

 

 

3. Interval

 

 

4. Ratio

 

 

 

D. Measurement Error

  • Sources of measurement error

 

 

 

 

II.  Evaluating measures

A. Reliability  

1. Test-retest

 

 

2. Split-half

 

 

3. Inter-observer agreement

 

 

How to increase reliability?  

 

 

  B. Validity  

 

1. Face validity 

 

 

2. Construct validity 

 

 

3. Criterion validity/Predictive validity

 

 

 

DISCUSSION: Measuring “social interaction”

 

 

III. Making decisions about data collection

         A. WHERE will we conduct our research?

Things to consider:

1. Control versus “naturalness”

 

 

 

 

                        2. What is my question?

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. How do I wish to generalize my results?

 

 

 

 

 

B.   HOW will we collect our data?

  • what techniques best fit my question?

 

 

 

 

IV. Typically used methods for data collection

A. Observation  

1. participant-observer or objective observer?

 

 

 

 

2. disguised vs. undisguised?

 

 

 

 

3. observational methods

  • narrative record 

 

 

  • time-sampling/checklists 

 

 

  •  event-sampling 

 

 

  •  ratings 

 

 

         

4. Inter-observer agreement as index of reliability

 

 

 

B. Report measures - Interviews and Questionnaires

1. Who should respond?

 

 

 

 

2. Structured or unstructured?

 

 

 

 

 

3. Problems with report measures

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Writing questionnaires

 

 

Discussion - designing questionnaires

 

 C. Performance Measures  

 

 

 

 

 

 D. Physiological measures  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Send problems, comments or suggestions to: hembrees@csus.edu

California State University, Sacramento

College of Education

Department of Child Development

Updated: January 25, 2013

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