Data collected in a survey study, and the results of the data analyses, are highly dependent on the quality of measurement. For example, if you were assessing subjective depression in older adults, you would want to use a depression scale that consistently measures the specific construct of depression similarly with multiple measurement points and samples. Your instrument must measure the construct of depression and not a similar construct such as grief, stress, or anxiety. Your results should be related to similar findings that have been previously supported in the literature as well as within the community that works with depression in older adults.
This week, you will apply measurement principles to specific variables and variable relationships in survey research, and you will apply empirical decision rules to variable selection and definition. You will also explain the benefits of multivariate and multidisciplinary approaches to variable selection and measurement. Finally, you will begin working on your Research Proposal Introduction Draft, which is due in Week 5.
Variable Definition and Measurement
There are two familiar sayings in the research community. First, We live in a multivariate world, so we need to conduct multivariate research, and second, garbage in, garbage out. The first statement is a reflection of the normal state of the human condition, in which multiple factors usually influence a given phenomenon. Stated in research terms, at least several variables are related to the primary variable of interest. How, then, do you know which variables to study? For example, when conducting depression research with the elderly, some of the highly related variables that also should be included in a primary depression study might include physical health status, socialization, stress, coping, and access to resources. No one variable on its own can explain depression in this population.
The second statement�garbage in, garbage out is common in the quantitative statistical community and is self-explanatory. If the quality of the measures and collected data are poor, every action and result that follows will also be poor, thus affecting reliability, validity, and credibility in a negative way. Optimally designed and executed survey studies prioritize measurement. They are reliable, meaning measurement is consistently applied. They are also valid, meaning truth and meaning in the measurement is applied. Finally, they are credible, meaning the results are subjectively, as well as objectively, believable.
Refer back to the example in the Introduction for this week. Using a depression scale that consistently measures the specific construct of depression similarly with multiple measurement points and samples strengthens reliability. Using an instrument that measures the construct of depression�and not a similar construct such as grief, stress, or anxiety�strengthens validity. Ensuring that your results relate to similar findings supported in the literature as well as within the community that works with depression in older adults also strengthens credibility.
For this Discussion, use your topic from Week 3(listed below), and consider three key variables in the research study you proposed for that topic. Think about how you would operationally define and measure each, using theory as the basis of your decisions. In addition, reflect on how you would justify your choice of measurement, including specific scales or measures you would use, and why. Finally, consider how a multivariate approach to variable selection and measurement would optimally assess your research problem.
With these thoughts in mind:
Post by Day 4
a description of three key variables in your Research Proposal.
Then explain how you would operationally define and measure each. Explain and justify your choice of measurement, including specific scales or measures you might use and why.
Finally, explain how you might use a multivariate approach to variable selection and measurement to optimally assess your research problem.
Be sure to support your postings and responses with specific references to the Learning Resources.
The topic of interest for my research proposal is �the psychosocial role of social workers in improving quality of life of chronic kidney disease patients. The basis of the topic is the increased concerns about chronic disease patients, who have been identified as experiencing challenges in their emotional, psychological, physical, and social status (Finnegan-John & Thomas, 2012). As such, there is a need to examine whether psychological and social support to these patients improve their quality of life. The topic is relevant for survey research because it intends to collect small bits of information from a diverse group of people with the overall goal of establishing a general conclusion (Driscoll, 2011). In other words, it is a topic that wants to reveal the �opinions, experiences, and behavior� (Driscoll, 2011, p. 163) of people with regard to their role in supporting chronic kidney disease patients.
More writing instructions:
The required responses for many of you NEED more detail and context… For required posts (discussion and required responses), you want your paragraphs to include 3-5 full sentences and at least one empirical cite. BETTER paragraphs include multiple cites. Do not rely only on text cites… in fact, if you only use text cites after week 3, you will end up losing points… Also, make sure you review the APA manual and other resources carefully about citing, referencing, etc… It takes a while to get a good handle on all of the “little” APA goodies… including “and versus &,” how to format “et al.” cites, what to italicize, etc…