CONSTRUCT The word ‘construct’ means focused abstract idea on something inferred from an observable phenomenon. Here, introversion and extroversion will be treated as poles (extremities) of the same dimension (variable). You often see students include the construct, gender, in questionnaires, giving respondents just two options (i.e., male and female). An important goal of scientific research is to conceptually define psychological constructs in ways that accurately describe them. Translating abstract concepts (e.g., happiness) into concrete variables is not straightforward. Dictionary: www.oxforddictionaries.com. Constructs are broad concepts or topics for a study. Ultimately, we have to make a choice between possible (i.e., multiple) theoretical or nominal definitions of constructs; we have to settle on a particular definition, but explain: (a) why we made this choice over definitions that adopt the same/similar approach, in terms of (i) how it fits with your research agenda and (ii) support for a definition in the literature amongst other researchers; and (b) how the conceptual definitions relates to other constructs, whether (i) in the same area or (ii) another conceptual area we are interested in. We often refer to constructs as mental abstractions because seldom are constructs directly observable (e.g., we cannot directly observe depression, even though we may associate depression with signs such as a person that often cries, engages in self-harm, has mood swings, and so forth). Constructs provide a common language and shared meaning that help us to communicate about things clearly and precisely. Take the following examples: We know that the construct, sex, has just two attributes in humans: male and female. Some constructs can be very easy to understand/measure (e.g., age, gender, ethnicity, height), but others are more difficult/complex (e.g., ageism, sexism, racism, self-esteem). For example, a survey researcher who claims constructive validity for a measure of satisfaction will have to demonstrate in a scientific manner that satisfied respondents behave differently from dissatisfied respondents. The development of additional theoretical linkages (i.e., research hypotheses) with their accompanying rationale. Knight, S.A., Halkett, G. K & Cross, D. (2010). In the classical model of test validity, construct validity is one of three main types of validity evidence, alongside content validity and criterion validity. Jeffrey S. Mogil, Andrea L. Bailey, in Progress in Brain Research, 2010. Constructs are also often defined in terms of other constructs (e.g., the construct, famine, which can be defined as "extreme scarcity of food", has been defined in terms of two other constructs, scarcity and food). Imagine a discussion about marriage, having to continuously explain terms such as divorce, civil partnerships, love, sex, intimacy, religion, sanctity, cohabitation, engagement, and so forth. Definition. Constructs used for scientific research must have precise and clear definitions that others can use to understand exactly what it means and what it does not mean. come to represent meaning within speci fic scientific contexts. During the dissertation process you will need to clearly and precisely explain the theories, constructs, and variables that you are interested in, as well as explain the relationship between them. San Francisco: Harper & Row. Constructs help research and applied psychologists to summarize the complex array of observed behaviours, emotions, and thoughts that people produce in their day-to-day activities. For example, if you were conducting a research about self-esteem, the concept in an of itself has many meanings and interpretations to different people (e.g., those who may read your research). Constructs can be mistaken for variables because some constructs may only be represented by one variable, such that the construct name and the variable name are the same (e.g., the construct and variable, sex). By complexity, we mean the relative difficulty that people have understanding and measuring (i.e., observing) various constructs. Copy and paste the following HTML into your website. Psychological measurements are not performed by using tools or devices, but instead, they are determined by a series of questions and … Academy of Management Review, 23(2): 242-266. Examples of constructs include intelligence or life satisfaction. Research practices: Positions researcher within the context. 4. The role of the operational definition is to precisely describe how to measure the characteristics of a construct. Instead, we use variables to operationalize (i.e., measure) the constructs we are interested in. construct definition: 1. to build something or put together different parts to form something whole: 2. an idea or an…. In other words, we are re-stating constructs as variables, with variables also having their own attributes (e.g., gender having the attributes male/female, which is important, because gender is a classic example of where constructs/variables, and their attributes, can be confused). As a result, theoretical or nominal definitions are used to provide conceptual clarity, using synonyms to express the construct we are interested in. Researchers define constructs both “conceptually” and “operationally” Conceptual definition: provides meaning to one construct in abstract or theoretical terms BUT… We have to make our abstract concepts concrete so we can study them! Ultimately, the operational definition is seldom perfect; that is, the choice of operational definition may be constrained by factors such as a lack of access to operational/measurement data. After all, most people would associate the construct, sex, as referring to males or females. Applied … Creates an agenda for change or reform Without a clear and precise way of explaining what these constructs mean, we would struggle to communicate to our audience. Constructivism is a theory in education that recognizes the learners' understanding and knowledge based on their own experiences prior to entering school. Social capital, intellectual capital, and the organizational advantage. We identify a number of However, some constructs (e.g., colours, smells, sounds) are more difficult to explain in this way; instead needing to be explained through direct experiences/sense. Conceptualization produces specific, agreed-upon meaning for a concept for the purposes of research. When myths masquerade as science. Whilst constructs are sometimes mistaken for variables, they are not variables. In the context of survey research, a construct is the abstract idea, underlying theme, or subject matter that one wishes to measure using survey questions. Login or create a profile so that you can create alerts and save clips, playlists, and searches. Constructs often lack clarity and precision; they are ambiguous. Constructs 4.1 Relationships between constructs As mentioned in Lecture 3, ‘introversion-extroversion’ is a construct that is as abstract as ‘anxiety’. Please note that some file types are incompatible with some mobile and tablet devices. The development of improved theoretical rationale for existing linkages. Process of specifying clearly exactly what you mean by a term This process of specifying exact meaning involves describing the indicators we’ll be using to measure our concept and the different aspects of the concept, Political Science and International Relations, https://dx.doi.org/10.4135/9781412963947.n91, Cognitive Aspects of Survey Methodology (CASM), Multi-Level Integrated Database Approach (MIDA), Video Computer-Assisted Self-Interviewing (VCASI), Audio Computer-Assisted Self-Interviewing (ACASI), Computer-Assisted Personal Interviewing (CAPI), Computer-Assisted Self-Interviewing (CASI), Computerized Self-Administered Questionnaires (CSAQ), Operations - Interviewer-Administered Surveys, Computer-Assisted Telephone Interviewing (CATI), Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Regulations, Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Regulations, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and the Virtual Computer-Assisted Telephone Interview (CATI) Facility, Computerized-Response Audience Polling (CRAP), Self-Selected Listener Opinion Poll (SLOP), Probability Proportional to Size (PPS) Sampling, Troldahl-Carter-Bryant Respondent Selection Method, American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR), American Statistical Association Section on Survey Research Methods (ASA-SRMS), Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), Council for Marketing and Opinion Research (CMOR), Council of American Survey Research Organizations (CASRO), International Field Directors and Technologies Conference (IFD&TC), International Journal of Public Opinion Research (IJPOR), International Social Survey Programme (ISSP), Joint Program in Survey Methodology (JPSM), National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), National Household Education Surveys (NHES) Program, World Association for Public Opinion Research (WAPOR), Finite Population Correction (fpc) Factor, Replicate Methods for Variance Estimation, Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS), CCPA – Do Not Sell My Personal Information. 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