Classification of statements into Concepts
Below are statements coming from different psychological scales constructed by different authors; what the scales are measuring nor the number of scales that are represented by these items are identified. Since the psychological variables measured by the items are fairly easily identifiable, create a table in which you will group those items that represent a common concept. Then, invent a construct or variable name for these items. This is an exercise that tests your intuitive abilities to spot the supposedly hidden constructs represented by these items. Consider this assignment as an “armchair” factor analysis.
- I feel irritable, easily agitated, and am impatient a few days before my period.
- I feel anxious watching a teacher work on an algebraic equation on the whiteboard.
- This is the dreariest time of my life.
- I am just as happy as when I was younger.
- My life could be happier than it is now.
- I have cramps that begin on the first day of my period.
- I don’t feel good being required to enroll in statistics.
- I expect some interesting and pleasant things to happen to me in the future.
- My breasts feel tender and sore a few days before my period.
- I feel old and somewhat tired.
- As I look back on my life, I am fairly well satisfied.
- I hate buying a math textbook.
- I feel depressed for several days before my period.
- I have backaches which begin the same day as my period.
- I don’t like reading and interpreting graphs or charts.
- I take prescription drug for the pain during my period.
- I’ve gotten pretty much what I expected out of life.
- Compared to other people, I get more the share of bad luck.
- I don’t like being told how to interpret probability statements.
- For several days before my period I feel exhausted, lethargic or tired.
- Most of the things I do are boring or monotonous.
- I’m feel my chest pound when I walk into a math class.
- I have abdominal pain or discomfort which begins one day before my period.
- I would not change my life even if I could.
- I’m anxious when I am waiting to get a math test returned even when I expect to have done well.
- The pain I have with my period is not intense but a continuous dull aching.
- I feel weak and dizzy during my period.
- I feel restless listening to somebody explaining a math formula.
- As I grow older, things seem better than I thought they would be.
- I have gotten more of the breaks in life than most of the people I know.
Psychological Constructs, Concepts, and the Nature of Measurement > Week 2
The Construct Under Investigation and Conceptualizing a Tool to Measure it
One of the indispensable parts in scale construction is to first get a good grasp of the ‘concept’ under investigation. Then, review the information written on the concept of interest. Only then can you decide whether there are subcomponents or dimensions under that concept. Be sure to provide a working definition of this concept, which may be based on a theory. Providing a definition for the concept and setting certain parameters based on a theory transforms the concept into a construct. Once this is clear in your mind, then you can start composing items that represent the construct.
Although many authors use the terms concept and construct interchangeably, a concept refers to observed instances in the empirical world that are argued to be related enough and are imported at an abstract level. Once this concept is narrowed for the purposes of setting parameters within a research context, it becomes a construct. Pushing the envelope further, once the definitions are concretized and rules are set (for instance in an experiment) on how to measure or produce the constructs—they become variables.
But first, it is important to have a very clear understanding of the concept or construct of choice.
Be sure to review this week’s resources carefully. You are expected to apply the information from these resources when you prepare your assignments.