Chapter specific application exercises will help you think about research design in practice or have you explore a relevant resource.
Exercise 1: NOIR Revisited
Under “An Introduction to Scales,” the perhaps-questionable statement was made that it is relatively easy to measure how much time a person spends online. List as many ways you can think of to measure time spent online; then identify each measure as nominal, ordinal, interval, or ratio. Which of these measures do you consider to be most valid, and which do you consider most reliable?
Exercise 2: Teens, Social Media, & Technology
At www.pewinternet.org locate a May 31st, 2018, survey report titled “Teens, Social Media, & Technology.” Click on the “Topline Questionnaire” icon to access the specific questions asked in this survey. You can also click on the “Complete Report” icon and find them at the end of the report. Categorize each question as nominal, ordinal, interval, or ratio. You will find that one level of measurement is predominant. What are the advantages and disadvantages of operating at this level of measurement? What types of information about how teens use social media & technology might not be available as a result of operating at this level of measurement?
Exercise 3: Parlez-moi d’amour
Let’s consider love. Generally, love is held to be a good thing. We might expect people in love to be happy, considerate of others, altruistic, and motivated and generally to have a positive outlook on life. A reliable and valid measure of love might allow us to predict, for example, individuals’ success in romantic relationships, their success as members of a team, or their willingness to engage in antisocial behavior. There are good theoretical and practical reasons that a researcher might want to measure love.
- Develop a set of nominal, ordinal, interval, and ratio questions that measure love.
- Assess the validity and reliability of your measures.
- Identify other measures and other concepts.
Identify specific reasons you might want to measure an individual’s level of love. For example, might a high level of love of country predict willingness to enlist for military service, to be active in politics and civic affairs, to be caring of one’s fellow citizens, and more generally to be willing to contribute time and resources to building a better nation? Intuitively, this seems like a concept of love that is different from the passionate love for a significant other, warm familial love, the gourmet’s love of fine food, or the extreme-sports enthusiast’s love of rock climbing.
Given the reasons you identified for wanting to research love, would questions that focus not on love as you first operationalized it but on another concept such as patriotism be more appropriate to your research interest? Can measures that capture love of food, one’s country, or rock climbing be used successfully to establish the validity of measures of romantic love? How likely is it that your questions developed in response to the first assignment in Exercise 3 will work successfully as a measure of love in a different culture?