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Theory, Operationalization, and Observation - Essay Example

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Concepts denote the basic building blocks of theory (Babbie, 2010). For instance, social scientists may have a theory concerning the…
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Theory, Operationalization, and Observation
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Download file to see previous pages Scientists have to oversee their operation definitions so as to guarantee the efficacy of their observation, measurement, and communication. In order to test any hypothesis, scientists must specify the meanings of all the variables involved in the hypothesis. For instance, in the stated example, the variables encompass social class and delinquency.
Variables refer to operationalized versions of concepts. In order to operationalize the variables, delinquency may be defined as “an event of being arrested by law enforcement for a crime,” while social class may be conceived in terms of family status or income levels. After the variables definition, the next step entails specifying the mode to be utilized in measuring the variables (Somekh & Lewin, 2005). In the example, the variables may be operationalized in the form of questions such as “have you ever stolen anything?” The respondents who say yes will be categorized as delinquents, while the respondents who answer no will be categorized as non delinquent.
Social class can be operationalized by posing the question “what was your family’s income last year?” The answer is measured against a set of provided family income categories. The operationalized hypothesis from the stated example can be expressed as the highest incidences of delinquents manifest among respondents bearing the lowest family income category.
Observation denotes looking at the world and making measurements based on the observations. Observation details specifying the precise operations involved in measuring variables and incorporate aspects such as seeing, hearing, and touching. Observations can be conducted to test a certain hypothesis or plainly observe and describe some activity.
The researchers first employed the theories explaining the dominant role that socioeconomic status play in sociological explanations of delinquency. In operationalizing the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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