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Key Concepts in Measurement$
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Brian E. Perron and David F. Gillespie

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199855483

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199855483.001.0001

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Foundations and Key Concepts

Foundations and Key Concepts

Chapter:
(p.12) 2 Foundations and Key Concepts
Source:
Key Concepts in Measurement
Author(s):

Brian E. Perron

David F. Gillespie

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199855483.003.0002

This chapter begins by introducing constructs and their relevance to measurement in social work research. Constructs can be thought of as complex concepts that are inferred or derived from a set of interrelated attributes of people, objects, or events; typically embedded in a theory; and often not directly observable but measured using multiple indicators. Attention is shifted to the importance of standardized measurement in social work research, along with the various kinds of measurement assumptions (i.e., theoretical, procedural, and statistical) and levels of precision (i.e., nominal, ordinal, interval, ratio). The chapter concludes with a discussion of the pivotal role played by measurement throughout the research process and theory construction.

Keywords:   constructs, concepts, standardized measurement, measurement assumptions, theory, research design

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