Conceptual and Operational Definitions

Conceptual and Operational Definitions

1.Research Question
(1pt)

1)
Develop a clear, specific, sociological research
question that will investigate the relationship between two social
phenomena/behaviors/facts.

2. Conceptual and
Operational Definitions (5pts)

2)
Clearly identify the variables in your research
question

3)
Identify which variable is your independent variable,
and which variable is your dependent variable.

4)
Provide a conceptual definition for each variable.
(i.e. similar to dictionary definition)

5)
Describe what ‘type’ of variable each variable is.

6)
Provide an operational definition for each
variable. (i.e. how the variable is
going to be measured)

3. Hypothesis (1pt)

7)
Develop a hypothesis for your research question – a
statement of what direction you believe the relationship between your two
variables will be.

4. Questionnaire
Construction (3 pts)

8)
Develop 5-10 closed-ended questions (*for groups: 10-15
questions)

a.
Some of these should measure basic socio-demographic
characteristics (i.e. age, race/ethnicity, gender, SES)

b.
The rest should be indicators for your variables

c.
These should be constructed based on the ‘type’ of
variable you are measuring.

9)
Develop 2-5 open-ended questions for to help measure
your variables (* for groups: 3-7 questions)

a.
This is going to help provide some rich qualitative
information and serve as a check for the internal validity of your close-ended
questions

5. Sampling Design (2
pts)

10) Describe
your population, sampling frame, and method

11) Describe
your sample

6. Administer the
Questionnaire (1 pt)

12) Have
3-5 people complete your questionnaire. (*for groups: 10 people per person)

a.
This may be done face-to-face where you ask the
questions, the respondent answers, and you record the information

b.
This may be done via a form that people fill out (i.e.
it could have been sent to some friends/family via email or handed to them in
the kitchen)

c.
When asking people to complete the questionnaire, you
need to inform them that it is VOLUNTARY, and their identity will be kept
confidential

i.
Do not put a place for name on the questionnaire

6. Compile the
results of your questionnaire into a table (1 pt)

13) This
provides you with a simple count

14) *For
groups only: consolidate data and consult with professor by Week 6 about data
analysis.

Sample Table


Indicators

Respondent 1

Respondent 1

Socio-demographic
measures





Age

38

24


Gender

female

Male


Etc.



Variable 1





Measured by Q1

C – neither agree nor disagree

A – strongly agree


Q3

D – disagree

B – agree


Q8 (open-ended)

R1 described their daily activities in the household…

R2 described their daily activities in the household…













Variable 1

Measured by Q2

5 hours

29 hours


Q5

3 days a week

7 days a week


Etc.



7. Analyze the
results of your questionnaire (see chapter 12) (3 pts)

15) Provide
descriptive statistics (counts) of the responses

16) Identify
trends in the data results

17) Conduct
a chi-square test (OPTIONAL)

18) How
do these results help you to answer your research question

8. Peer-Reviewed
Article (3 pts)

19) Find
1 peer-reviewed article that is related to your research question.

20) Briefly
describe the article (thesis/research question, hypothesis, methods, findings)

21) Compare
and discuss the methods and findings of the article to your own small study

9. Discussion (4 pts)

22) Briefly
summarize the research purposes, methodologies, and key findings (in a
non-statistical manner) of your study

23) What
are the strengths of your study and findings

24) What
are the weaknesses of your study and findings

25) Discuss
implications for future research on your research question

10. Reflection (1 pt)

26) Briefly
discuss what you learned about research methods through this assignment.


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