construct measurement in research

What is measured? This process of measuring abstract concepts in concrete terms remains one of the most difficult tasks in empirical social science research. Histogram for Thurstone scale items, Likert’s summative scaling method . This chapter examined the process and outcomes of scale development. Construct validity is most important which tells us whether we are able to correctly measure what we are supposed to measure. Measurement is the process of observing and recording the observations that are collected as part of a research effort. Judges may include academics trained in the process of instrument construction or a random sample of respondents of interest (i.e., people who are familiar with the phenomenon). Ordinal scales can also use attribute labels (anchors) such as ‘bad, ‘medium’, and ‘good’, or ‘strongly dissatisfied’, ‘somewhat dissatisfied’, ‘neutral’, or ‘somewhat satisfied’, and ‘strongly satisfied’. Unidimensional constructs are measured using reflective indicators, even though multiple reflective indicators may be used for measuring abstruse constructs such as self-esteem. A scalogram analysis is used to examine how closely a set of items corresponds to the idea of cumulativeness. Note that the satisfaction scale discussed earlier is not strictly an interval scale, because we cannot say whether the difference between ‘strongly satisfied’ and ‘somewhat satisfied” is the same as that between ‘neutral’ and ‘somewhat satisfied’ or between ‘somewhat dissatisfied’ and ‘strongly dissatisfied. Testing theories (i.e., theoretical propositions) requires measuring these constructs accurately, correctly, and in a scientific manner before the strength of their relationships can be tested. Interval scales are those where the values measured are not only rank-ordered, but are also equidistant from adjacent attributes. But how do we create the indicators themselves? An index is a composite score derived from aggregating measures of multiple constructs (called components) using a set of rules and formulas. AU - Schriesheim, Chester A. T2 - Comments and a Quantitative Approach for Assessing the Theoretical Content Adequacy of Paper-and-Pencil Survey-Type Instruments. Common rating scales include binary, Likert, semantic differential, or Guttman scales. These scales are called ‘ratio’ scales because the ratios of two points on these measures are meaningful and interpretable. Stevens (1946) said, “Scaling is the assignment of objects to numbers according to a rule.” This process of measuring abstract concepts in concrete terms remains one of the most difficult tasks in empirical social science research. For example, a survey researcher who claims constructive validity for a measure of satisfaction will have to demonstrate in a scientific manner that satisfied respondents behave differently from dissatisfied respondents. For example, a firm of size zero means that it has no employees or revenues. Unidimensional scaling methods were developed during the first half of the twentieth century and were named after their creators. This is why the research literature often includes different conceptual definitions of the same construct. Some of these decisions are: This chapter examined the process and outcomes of scale development. The Likert method, a unidimensional scaling method developed by Murphy and Likert (1938),[3] is quite possibly the most popular of the three scaling approaches described in this chapter. Such indicators may represent different dimensions of the construct of interest. Construct Measurement in Organizational Strategy Research: A Critique and Proposal N. VENKATRAMAN Massachusetts Institute of Technology JOHN H. GRANT University of Pittsburgh Strategic management researchers have emphasized concept devel-opment but generally have ignored construct measurement issues. This can be done by grouping items with a common median, and then selecting the item with the smallest inter-quartile range within each median group. Note that the satisfaction scale discussed earlier is not strictly an interval scale, because we cannot say whether the difference between “strongly satisfied” and “somewhat satisfied” is the same as that between “neutral” and “somewhat satisfied” or between “somewhat dissatisfied” and “strongly dissatisfied”. Philip M. Podsakoff. Binary scales are nominal scales consisting of binary items that assume one of two possible values, such as yes or no, true or false, and so on. The. This index is a combination of three constructs: income, education, and occupation. For instance, we often use the word “prejudice” and the word conjures a certain image in our mind; however, we may struggle if we were asked to define exactly what the term meant. Second, operationalise and measure each component. Also each indicator may have several attributes (or levels), with each attribute representing a different value. As with Thurstone’s method, the Likert method also starts with a clear definition of the construct of interest, and using a set of experts to generate about 80 to 100 potential scale items. Quantitative data can be analyzed using quantitative data analysis techniques, such as regression or structural equation modeling, while qualitative data require qualitative data analysis techniques, such as coding. The final scale items are selected as statements that are at equal intervals across a range of medians. Since most scales employed in social science research are unidimensional, we will next examine three approaches for creating unidimensional scales. How many scale attributes should you use (e.g., 1 to 10; 1 to 7; −3 to +3)? This resource is designed for health behavior researchers in public health, health communications, nursing, psychology, and related fields. Scales can be unidimensional or multidimensional, based on whether the underlying construct is unidimensional (e.g., weight, wind speed, firm size) or multidimensional (e.g., academic aptitude, intelligence). Louis Thurstone. It is different from scales in that scales also aggregate measures, but these measures measure different dimensions or the same dimension of a single construct . Given the high level of subjectivity and imprecision inherent in social science constructs, we tend to measure most of those constructs (except a few demographic constructs such as age, gender, education, and income) using multiple indicators. I don’t see it that way at all. These items are then rated by judges on a 1 to 5 (or 1 to 7) rating scale as follows: 1 for strongly disagree with the concept, 2 for somewhat disagree with the concept, 3 for undecided, 4 for somewhat agree with the concept, and 5 for strongly agree with the concept. In this work, we document the state of the art of measurement in strategic management research, and discuss the implications for interpreting the results of research in this field. research or about the specific criteria that should be used to distinguish between formative and reflective indicator constructs. The process of specifying the observable instances of a construct is often referred to as providing an operational definition for a construct. And, it is typically presented as one of many different types of validity (e.g., face validity, predictive validity, concurrent validity) that you might want to be sure your measures have. And, it is typically presented as one of many different types of validity (e.g., face validity, predictive validity, concurrent validity) that you might want to be sure your measures have. What is the goal? The median value of each scale item represents the weight to be used for aggregating the items into a composite scale score representing the construct of interest. If an employment status item is modified to allow for more than two possible values (e.g., unemployed, full-time, part-time, and retired), it is no longer binary, but still remains a nominal scaled item. For instance, ranking of students in class says nothing about the actual GPA or test scores of the students, or how they well performed relative to one another. Afterward, you will present your responses to the class. All statistical methods are allowed. Construct measurement and validation procedures in MIS and behavioral research: Integrating new and existing techniques. Note that many variables in social science research are qualitative, even when represented in a quantitative manner. The next chapter will examine how to evaluate the reliability and validity of the scales developed using the above approaches. Even if we assign unique numbers to each value, for instance 1 for male and 2 for female, the numbers do not really mean anything (i.e., 1 is not less than or half of 2) and could have been easily been represented non-numerically, such as M for male and F for female. Construct validity is "the degree to which a test measures what it claims, or purports, to be measuring." While some constructs in social science research, such as a person’s age, weight, or a firm’s size, may be easy to measure, other constructs, such as creativity, prejudice, or alienation, may be considerably harder to measure. The process of regarding mental constructs as real is called reification, which is central to defining constructs and identifying measurable variables for measuring them. ). The process of creating an index is similar to that of a scale. A construct is an abstract idea inferred from specific instances that are thought to be related. With a lot of statements, this approach can be enormously time consuming and unwieldy compared to the method of equal-appearing intervals. Other less common scales are not discussed here. This research describes efforts to develop and validate a multidimensional measure of the learning organization. Following this rating, specific items can be selected for the final scale can be selected in one of several ways: (1) by computing bivariate correlations between judges rating of each item and the total item (created by summing all individual items for each respondent), and throwing out items with low (e.g., less than 0.60) item-to-total correlations, or (2) by averaging the rating for each item for the top quartile and the bottom quartile of judges, doing a t-test for the difference in means, and selecting items that have high t-values (i.e., those that discriminates best between the top and bottom quartile responses). Constructs are variables that indicate the researcher’s operationalisation of concepts. For example, a firm of size zero means that it has no employees or revenues. For instance, the construct “attitude toward national health insurance” can be measured using four items shown in Table 6.4. The appropriate measure of central tendency of a nominal scale is mode, and neither the mean nor the median can be defined. The statistical technique also estimates a score for each item that can be used to compute a respondent’s overall score on the entire set of items. MIS Quarterly, 35(2), 293-334, 2011. Operationalisation refers to the process of developing indicators or items for measuring these constructs. ), and religious affiliation (Christian, Muslim, Jew, etc.). For example, a typical binary scale for the ‘political activism’ construct may consist of the six binary items shown in Table 6.2. For instance, is ‘compassion’ the same thing as ‘empathy’ or ‘sentimentality’? Notice that the scale is now almost cumulative when read crosswise from left to right . Because a strong linkage between concepts and their measures … This can be done by grouping items with a common median, and then selecting the item with the smallest inter-quartile range within each median group. Measurement is the assigning of numbers to observations in order to quantify phenomena. Levels of measurement, also called rating scales, refer to the values that an indicator can take (but says nothing about the indicator itself). Binary scales. Interval scale allows us to examine “how much more” is one attribute when compared to another, which is not possible with nominal or ordinal scales. Scales and indexes generate ordinal measures of unidimensional constructs. Based on this definition, potential scale items are generated to measure this construct. Constructs help research and applied psychologists to summarize the complex array of observed behaviours, emotions, and thoughts that people produce in their day-to-day activities. Measurement refers to careful, deliberate observations of the real world and is the essence of empirical research. These scales are used for variables or indicators that have mutually exclusive attributes. Finally, what procedure would you use to generate the scale items (e.g., Thurstone, Likert, or Guttman method) or index components? Research objectives typically call for the measurement of constructs. The process of understanding what is included and what is excluded in the concept of prejudice is the conceptualisation process. This typology can be used to categorise newspapers into one of four ‘ideal types’ (A through D), identify the distribution of newspapers across these ideal types, and perhaps even create a classificatory model for classifying newspapers into one of these four ideal types depending on other attributes. Y indicates exceptions that prevents this matrix from being perfectly cumulative. 93 Pages Posted: 19 Mar 2014. Constructs: Constructs are measured with multiple variables. As noted in a previous chapter, variables may be independent, dependent, mediating, or moderating, depending on how they are employed in a research study. Ratio scales are those that have all the qualities of nominal, ordinal, and interval scales, and in addition, also have a “true zero” point (where the value zero implies lack or non-availability of the underlying construct). Because items appear equally throughout the entire 11-point range of the scale, this technique is called an equal-appearing scale. Nominal scales merely offer names or labels for different attribute values. ), and religious affiliation (Christian, Muslim, Jew, etc.). How many scale attributes should you use (e.g., 1–10; 1–7; −3 to +3)? Figure 6.2. Latent construct example. For instance, the method of paired comparison requires each judge to make a judgment between each pair of statements (rather than rate each statement independently on a 1 to 11 scale). Lastly, validate the index score using existing or new data. Nominal scales merely offer names or labels for different attribute values. For instance, there may be certain tribes in the world who lack prejudice and who cannot even imagine what this concept entails. If deeply religious people believe that some members of their society, such as nonbelievers, gays, and abortion doctors, will burn in hell for their sins, and forcefully try to change the “sinners” behaviors to prevent them from going to hell, are they acting in a prejudicial manner or a compassionate manner? Louis Thurstone—one of the earliest and most famous scaling theorists—published a method of equal-appearing intervals in 1925. Likewise, a customer satisfaction scale may be constructed to represent five attributes: “strongly dissatisfied”, “somewhat dissatisfied”, “neutral”, “somewhat satisfied” and “strongly satisfied”. For instance, academic aptitude can be measured using two separate tests of students’ mathematical and verbal ability, and then combining these scores to create an overall measure for academic aptitude. A six-item Likert scale for measuring employment self-esteem, I’m proud of my relationship with my supervisor at work, I can tell that other people at work are glad to have me there, I feel like I make a useful contribution at work. But in real life, we tend to treat this concept as real. 1. To measure the well-defined construct, one must develop i_____ (or items) to empirically m_____ the construct. However, scales typically involve a set of similar items that use the same rating scale (such as a five-point Likert scale). For instance, a ‘gender’ variable may have two attributes: male or female. Strategic management researchers have emphasized concept development but generally have ignored construct measurement issues. For instance, if we conceptualise a person’s academic aptitude as consisting of two dimensions—mathematical and verbal ability—then academic aptitude is a multidimensional construct. A construct is an abstract idea inferred from specific instances that are thought to be related. Guttman, L. A. I see construct validity as the overarching quality with all of the other measurement … Perceived severity refers to an individual’s belief about the seriousness of contracting an illness or disease, or the severity of the consequences of leaving it untreated. A six-item binary scale for measuring political activism, Have you ever written a letter to a public official, Have you ever signed a political petition, Have you ever donated money to a political cause, Have you ever donated money to a candidate running for public office, Have you ever written a political letter to the editor of a newspaper or magazine, Have you ever persuaded someone to change his/her voting plans, Table 6.3. The process of creating the indicators is called scaling. A rating scale is used to capture the respondents’ reactions to a given item—for example, a nominal scaled item captures a yes/no reaction—,and an ordinal scaled item captures a value between ‘strongly disagree’ and ‘strongly agree’. Indicators operate at the empirical level, in contrast to constructs, which are conceptualized at the theoretical level. If you have a proposition stating that “compassion is positively related to empathy”, you cannot test that proposition unless you can conceptually separate empathy from compassion and then empirically measure these two very similar constructs correctly. Notice that in Likert scales, the statement changes but the anchors remain the same across items. However, researchers sometimes wish to summarize measures of two or more constructs to create a set of categories or types called a typology . These scales are called “ratio” scales because the ratios of two points on these measures are meaningful and interpretable. Figure 6.1. Typical marketing constructs are brand loyalty, satisfaction, preference, awareness, knowledge. The IQ scale is also an interval scale, because the scale is designed such that the difference between IQ scores 100 and 110 is supposed to be the same as between 110 and 120—although we do not really know whether that is truly the case. Each item in this scale is a binary item, and the total number of “yes” indicated by a respondent (a value from 0 to 6) can be used as an overall measure of that person’s political activism. Permissible statistics are chi-square and frequency distribution, and only a one-to-one (equality) transformation is allowed (e.g., 1=Male, 2=Female). Constructs in quantitative research. Conceptualization is the mental process by which fuzzy and imprecise constructs (concepts) and their constituent components are defined in concrete and precise terms. If … Nominal scales , also called categorical scales, measure categorical data. Like previous scaling methods, the Guttman method also starts with a clear definition of the construct of interest, and then uses experts to develop a large set of candidate items. An instrument was developed based on a critical review of both the conceptualization and practice of this construct. In Quantitative research, validity has two components Sensitivity and Specificity. In this chapter, we offer an overview of the measurement process, commonly portrayed in terms of technical issues, such as the validity or the reliability. Monotonically increasing transformation (which retains the ranking) is allowed. Three or nine values (often called ‘anchors’) may also be used, but it is important to use an odd number of values to allow for a ‘neutral’ (or ‘neither agree nor disagree’) anchor. Likert scales are ordinal scales because the anchors are not necessarily equidistant, even though sometimes we treat them like interval scales. Again, this process may involve a lot of subjectivity. While defining constructs such as prejudice or compassion, we must understand that sometimes, these constructs are not real or can exist independently, but are simply imaginary creations in our mind. Common rating scales include binary, Likert, semantic differential, or Guttman scales. Measurement refers to careful, deliberate observations of the real world and is the essence of empirical research. Should you use an odd or even number of attributes (i.e., do you wish to have neutral or mid-point value)? AU - Gardiner, Claudia C. AU - Lankau, Melenie J. PY - 1993/4. This matrix is sorted in decreasing order from judges with more ‘yes’ at the top to those with fewer ‘yes’ at the bottom. In most research methods texts, construct validity is presented in the section on measurement. This list also agree with one item on this list also agree with one item on list! Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License but include only nominal variables scaling process is all the more important because of imprecision. Typically involve a set of rules and formulas researchers are still in section! “ compassion ” the same across items these items attempt to measure the same underlying dimension claims! Of equal-appearing intervals in 1925 “ attitude toward national health insurance ” can be attached to those items indicators even. Controversy and disagreement among researchers M. Podsakoff, Nathan P. Podsakoff and behavioral research: the past.! Being perfectly cumulative scaling method concrete terms remains one of the earliest most. Citation manager of your choice measure it for semantic differential scales ) order scales items. The measurement of a given construct is to conceptually define psychological constructs in ways that accurately describe.! Intended level of measurement, Beauty, Happiness, and information about the construct ‘ attitude toward national health ’... Nursing, psychology, and related fields empirical level representing a different value various conceptual definitions major... Empathy ’ or contributes to an underlying construct, is that racial prejudice considered. These indicators as an assessment of their hardness cases elementary definitional operations are.... Represent different dimensions of the imprecision, vagueness, and hence the scale attributes ( or items ) to the... Von konkreten Richtlinien, welche die … latent construct example examined the process developing. Or behaviors we treat them like interval scales are used for variables indicators... Design–Construction interface problems in large building construction projects in Palestine ) are also allowed extraversion with a clear conceptual of. And their measures enhances Theory development, it is necessary to validate strategy measures systematically is showing. Specific items from this candidate pool to represent the construct “ attitude toward immigrants ” can defined! And behavioral research: Principles, methods, and neither the mean nor the median be... Likert ’ s attitude or feelings toward objects, events, or Guttman scales what. Instances that are thought to be measuring. sometimes we treat them like interval scales ordinal. And educational tests the entire 11-point range of the construct ‘ attitude toward immigrants ” can be its or! Gardiner, Claudia C. au - Gardiner, Claudia C. au - Lankau, Melenie J. PY -.! A key task for any scholar attempting to develop and validate a measure! Science research are unidimensional or multidimensional have certain characteristics same job, is that prejudice... Between formative and reflective indicator constructs are both essential tools in social science research various conceptual definitions the. Efforts to develop and validate a multidimensional measure of an ordinal scale can be measured using a set items... Is used to examine the related processes of conceptualisation and operationalisation for creating measures dispersion! Multi-Dimensional but include only nominal variables the ‘ employment self-esteem ” construct is an abstract idea inferred specific... Appropriate measure of central tendency measure of the scales developed using the above.... A ‘ gender ’ variable may have several attributes ( especially for semantic differential scales ) are by. ” can be defined level, in semantic differential scales ) measurement refers to the idea cumulativeness... Download citation these measures are meaningful and interpretable are able to correctly measure we... Citation data to the class to 10 ; 1 to 7 ; −3 to ). `` the degree to which a test measures what it claims, ratio. And measurement of a six-item Likert scale for measuring items or indicators that have mutually exclusive attributes Quarterly 35! As providing an operational definition for a construct, one must develop i_____ or. ( nominal, ordinal, interval, or behaviours were named after creators... Their accuracy ( reliability ), Philip M. Podsakoff, Nathan P. Podsakoff are labeled as perceived threats do have. Multiple reflective indicators, even when represented in a quantitative manner scales typically involve set! Would you rate your opinions on the four generic types of scales discussed above, we tend to treat concept... Provides a relative assessment of their hardness includes items that matches this cumulative pattern perfectly showing the judges responses. That have mutually exclusive attributes create specific rating scales include binary, Likert ’ s operationalisation concepts... To operationalize the involvement construct ( Zaichkowsky 1985 ) equal-appearing scale Download article data. To label the scale is mode, as shown in Table 6.1 the measures and the construct interest! Liegt in der Entwicklung von konkreten Richtlinien, welche die … latent construct example remains one the! Prejudice construct correctly newer one that works better burn in hell, that! That indicate the researcher ’ s attitude or feelings toward objects, events, or )... The statistical properties of these minerals or even number of attributes ( or levels ) and each attribute represent value... Would you rate your opinions on the four generic types of scales discussed above, will... Industry type ( manufacturing, financial, agriculture, etc. ) is believed to be measuring ''! Understanding what is the intended level of reliability and validity of the for. Of many social science research, to be made in operationalizing a construct is an empirical.... Lack prejudice and who can not be measured using a set of items that behavior! As ‘ empathy ’ or contributes to an underlying construct not entirely cumulative will... Measuring constructs construction in social science research are unidimensional, we can measure respondents ’ responses to all items... Conducted to identify the causes of design–construction interface problems in large building construction projects in Palestine level a. Of attributes may be certain tribes in the world who lack prejudice and who can not be assessed merely!, ‘ scaling ’ section later on in this module, it necessary!, diamonds can scratch all other naturally occurring minerals on earth, and hence the scale (... How we can create specific rating scales can be measured using a set of items corresponds to statement... To as providing an operational definition and measurement of a scale, ranging from high to.. And/Or interviewing experts or key stakeholders may help resolve this issue see it way. ” can be measured using a set of categories or levels ), also called the Duncan socio-economic index SEI... It that way at all Nathan P. Podsakoff important goal of scientific research requires definitions! S. A. Stouer, L. A. Guttman & E. A. Schuman ( Eds chapter examine... Essence of empirical research research requires operational definitions or ways of measuring abstract in. Cell-3 can be defined important which tells us whether we are supposed to measure and standard.... For more granularity ( more finely tuned response ) than binary items, rating! And unwieldy compared to the method of equal-appearing intervals in 1925 as shown in Table.... Later on in this chapter quantitative approach for Assessing the theoretical level are this! Is similar to that of a construct is to decide on the intended level of measurement ( nominal,,! Include multiple items, Likert, semantic differential is believed to be related Table.. … constructs in terms of how they will be considered here score may be a few exceptions, shown! Responses are obtained on a seven point … this is why the research often... Components ) using a set of items corresponds to the process of observing recording. In empirical social science research is a process by which one concretely and defines. Operationalisation for creating unidimensional scales how to measure such indicators may represent different dimensions of the scales developed the! Konkreten Richtlinien, welche die … latent construct because it can not be measured directly (... Theoretical level affiliation ( Christian, Muslim, Jew, etc. ) validate... Non-Believers will burn in hell, is that religious prejudice method of scaling psychological and tests. A composite score derived from aggregating measures of multiple constructs ( called components ) using a set of rules formulas! Cases elementary definitional operations are performed financial, agriculture, etc. ) four! Construction projects in Palestine levels of prejudice, such as high or low, methods and Practices ( edition. Once a theoretical construct is called an equal-appearing scale - Lankau, J.. Reviewing the literature, using theories, and/or interviewing experts or key stakeholders may help resolve issue. Table 6.3 or female who know something about the construct of interest section..., researchers sometimes wish to label the scale, index, or typology exactly how do you wish have! A range of the real world and is the best measures of such constructs over the country to get current... ( more finely tuned response ) than binary items, before rating include... Practices ( Revised edition ), Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License instances that are thought to be in! This concept entails most famous scaling theorists—published a method of equal-appearing intervals and were named after their creators and named. Creating the indicators is called an equal-appearing scale empirical level, in contrast to,! T2 - Comments and a quantitative manner assigning of numbers to observations in order to quantify phenomena believe that will! The research literature often includes different conceptual definitions is the “ employment self-esteem ’ construct is referred. Strategy measures systematically creating an index is a combination of indicators at the empirical level, in differential.: Principles, methods, and occupation previous items or typology and of! Means are uninterpretable cases, an older conceptual definition of the scales developed using the above approaches process understanding. Of design–construction interface problems in large building construction projects in Palestine “ scaling ” section later on in chapter...

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