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# Research Methods: Concepts, Variables, and Measurement

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@PreferableDobro

### What is the reason self-administered modes are best fitting for esk.mail/internet?

• Low diffusion of high-speed internet access
• Uneven diffusion of high-speed internet access combined with low internet proficiency (correct)
• High diffusion of high-speed internet access
• Availability of adequate mail sample frames
• ### What do researchers collect to study unobservable variables?

• Single observable variable
• Several related observable variables (correct)
• No observable variables
• Several unrelated observable variables
• ### What is the purpose of factor analysis?

• To determine if a set of variables is unidimensional
• To determine the relationships between a set of variables
• To determine if a set of variables is multidimensional
• To determine the relationships between a set of survey items (correct)
• ### What is a latent or construct variable?

<p>An unobservable variable</p> Signup and view all the answers

### What is the goal of factor analysis in a set of survey questions?

<p>To determine if the questions are measuring the same phenomenon</p> Signup and view all the answers

### What is a common application of factor analysis?

<p>To identify relationships between items in a measurement instrument</p> Signup and view all the answers

### What is the difference between factor analysis and cluster analysis?

<p>Factor analysis looks at variables, while cluster analysis looks at units</p> Signup and view all the answers

### What is the purpose of cluster analysis?

<p>To look for clusters of units that are comparable</p> Signup and view all the answers

### What is the input data for factor analysis?

<p>A matrix with variables and units</p> Signup and view all the answers

### What does factor analysis help to determine?

<p>If one dimension is being measured or if multiple dimensions are being measured</p> Signup and view all the answers

## Study Notes

### Nonprobability Polls

• Nonprobability polls have unknown recruiting strategies, making it difficult to determine the probability of a respondent being selected.
• This leads to potential biases, as some individuals may be left out, and the sample may not be representative of the entire population.
• Non-response is another issue, where people do not respond to surveys.

### Sample Size

• The sample size depends on the confidence level, confidence interval, or margin of error.
• It also depends on non-response rates.

### Positioning Survey Research

• Survey research is deductive, nomothetic, quantitative, positivistic, and pragmatic.

• Survey research asks questions about behavior, attitudes, beliefs, opinions, characteristics, expectations, self-classification, and knowledge.
• Surveys answer three types of questions: descriptive, relational, and predictive.

### Concepts and Variables

• Concepts or constructs are theoretical and abstract.
• Variables are empirical and measured in the world.
• To test hypotheses, theoretical concepts must be translated into empirical variables.

### Levels of Measurement

• There are four levels of measurement: nominal, ordinal, interval, and ratio.
• Scales and indexes are used to measure complex concepts.
• Scales consist of empirically connected parts, while indexes are sums of logically connected parts.

### Types of Scales

• Likert scale: statements with categories, scores from 3 to 15, and strong statements.
• Bogardus social distance scale: country, city, neighborhood, and home.
• Semantic differential scale: statements with categories between two ends, such as good to bad.
• Guttman scale: statements with categories, 0=no, 1=yes, and increasing intensity.

### Why Do a Survey?

• Surveys are used to collect original data for describing a population too large to observe directly.
• They are used for descriptive, explanatory, and exploratory purposes.
• Scientific surveys are used for explanation, while commercial surveys are used for description.

### Steps in Survey Research

• Research design
• Select sample
• Construct questions
• Analyse data
• Report results

### Types of Sampling

• Single stage vs. multistage sampling
• Random vs. systematic sampling
• Stratification: specific characteristics of individuals are represented in the sample.
• Power analysis for sample size determination
• Response rate: the percentage of surveys returned.

### Constructing the Questionnaire

• Things to avoid: jargon, slang, abbreviations, vagueness, emotional language, prestige bias, double-barreled questions, beliefs as real, leading questions, and issues beyond respondent capabilities.
• Types of questions: contingency/skip questions and open-ended questions.

### Factor Analysis

• Factor analysis is a statistical technique that analyzes relationships between survey items to determine whether they relate to an unobservable variable.
• It is used to determine whether survey items are part of the same scale and measure the same phenomenon.
• There are two ways of analyzing a data matrix: factor analysis and cluster analysis.

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## Description

Understand the differences between theoretical concepts and empirical variables, and how to measure variables in research. Learn about the levels of measurement and how to apply them.

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