Theoretical vs. Operational Definitions Quiz

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12 Questions

Which type of scale is often used in psychology research?

Numerical Scales: Explicit

What is the primary issue with using open-ended questions in surveys?

They require a rater for evaluation

How can researchers address the acquiescence bias in surveys?

Include reverse-coded items

What is the Halo Effect in survey responses?

Assuming positive attributes based on one positive attribute

What is the purpose of using Likert and Likert-type scales in surveys?

To measure constructs with numerical scales

How does the Central Tendency Bias arise in survey responses?

By not having a neutral option in scales

What is the main focus of conceptual or theoretical definitions?

Exploring underlying ideas

In the context of operational definitions, what does specifying the operations entail?

Detailing the actions needed to manipulate or measure the concept

What distinguishes levels of an independent variable in an experiment?

Each possible option for the independent variable

Which type of data measurement is most commonly used in psychology to assess dependent variables?

Self-report data

How might researchers measure an underlying construct using self-report data?

Developing a scale to gather responses

What distinguishes multigroup designs in experiments?

Ability to detect non-linear relationships between variables

Study Notes

Conceptual and Operational Definitions

  • Conceptual definitions focus on the underlying idea or concept, similar to what you would find in a dictionary definition.
  • Operational definitions specify the operations required to manipulate or measure the concept, e.g., defining aggression as the volume, in decibels, at which someone shouts.

Independent Variables

  • Each possible option of an independent variable is known as a level.
  • Multiple levels of an independent variable can be introduced, creating multiple experimental groups.
  • Multigroup designs allow for the detection of non-linear relationships between variables.

Dependent Variables

  • Dependent variables can be measured using behavioral response, self-report, or physical response.
  • Self-report is the most common method used in psychology.

Self-Report Data

  • Self-report data can be measured using scales to measure an underlying construct.
  • Scales can be numerical, explicit, or implicit.
  • Likert scales are commonly used in psychology, with a range of 5-7 points.

Sensitivity of the Measure

  • It's essential to include people's ideas and avoid all-or-nothing items.
  • People can only reasonably distinguish between about 7 levels.

Errors in Self-Report Measures

  • Laziness is a significant issue in self-report measures.
  • Truthfulness can be affected by self-knowledge, social desirability, and the halo effect.
  • Demand characteristics can lead to participants providing "good" responses.
  • Acquiescence bias can be addressed by including reverse-coded items.
  • Central tendency bias can be mitigated by not having a neutral option.
  • Misrepresentation is a significant issue and should be avoided by being truthful.

Test your knowledge on the differences between theoretical and operational definitions. Explore how abstract concepts are defined conceptually compared to how they are defined by specific operations or measurements.

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