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Measurement Error and Research Design
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Measurement Error and Research Design



February 2005 | 456 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

Most books on measurement present a statistical orientation or an orientation toward measurement theory. Although these approaches are valuable, Measurement Error and Research Design is motivated by the lack of literature that enhances understanding of measurement error, its sources, and its effects on responses. This book's purpose is to enhance the design of research, both of measures and of methods.

Author Madhu Viswanathan's work is organized around the meaning of measurement error. It begins with a brief overview of measurement principles supplemented with many examples to provide necessary background to the reader. It analyzes the various causes of different types of measurement error, the nature of responses that would characterize each type of error, and the pattern of empirical outcomes that would be observed. This approach provides guidance in developing and editing items and measures and in designing methods before the fact. It is also perfect for using empirical results to redesign items, measures, and methods. Measurement is treated at a nuts-and-bolts level with concrete examples or errors and empirical procedures.

Measurement Error and Research Design is an ideal text for research methods courses across the social sciences, especially those in which a primer on measurement is needed. For the novice researcher, this book facilitates understanding of the basic principles of measurement required to design measures and methods for empirical research. For the experienced researcher, this book provides an in-depth analysis and discussion of the essence of measurement error and the procedures to minimize it. Most importantly, the book's unique approach bridges measurement and methodology through clear illustrations of the intangibles of scientific research.

An author maintained website, http://www.business.uiuc.edu/~madhuv/msmt.html, features datasets and suggestions for using the book in courses.

"Dr. Viswanathan has made an important contribution to the array of books available on measurement. In his book, he calls the reader's attention to types of errors encountered in measurement, how they are made, and most importantly, how researchers can go about identifying and eliminating them. If you are doing research, whether you are developing measures or using already developed measures, the information in this book will help you to understand how to investigate the limitations of the measures you work with."
—Dennis L. Jackson, University of Windsor, Ontario, Canada

"This book provides a useful systematic introduction to an important and neglected area, that of measurement error in the social sciences. It will prove valuable both to students studying this topic in courses, and to Ph.D. students and researchers starting to carry out social research under their own steam."
—Dougal Hutchison, National Foundation for Educational Research


Richard Bagozzi
Foreword
 
Preface
 
Acknowledgments
 
1. WHAT IS MEASUREMENT?
Overview  
What Is Measurement Error?  
Overview of Traditional Measure Development Procedures  
Conceptual and Operational Definitions  
Domain Delineation  
Measure Design and Item Generation  
Internal Consistency Reliability  
Test-Retest Reliability  
Dimensionality - Exploratory Factor Analysis  
Dimensionality - Confirmatory Factor Analysis and Structural Equation Modeling  
Validity  
General Issues in Measurement  
Summary  
Appendices  
 
2. WHAT IS MEASUREMENT ERROR?
Overview  
Random Error  
Systematic Error  
Types of Random and Systematic Error  
Illustrations of Measurement Error Through Error Patterns  
Patterns of Responses in Measurement Error  
Summary  
Appendix  
 
3. WHAT CAUSES MEASUREMENT ERROR?
Overview  
Sources of Measurement Error  
Taxonomy of Error Sources  
Summary  
 
4. CAN EMPIRICAL PROCEDURES PINPOINT TYPES OF
MEASUREMENT ERROR?
Overview  
Internal Consistency Reliability Procedures  
Test-Retest Reliability Procedures  
Factor Analysis Procedures  
Validity Tests  
Summary  
 
5. HOW CAN MEASUREMENT ERROR BE IDENTIFIED AND
CORRECTED FOR IN MEASURE DEVELOPMENT?
Overview  
Guidelines for Identifying and Correcting For Error in Measure Development  
Generic Issues in Designing Psychometric Tests  
Item-to-Total Correlations (Internal Consistency Procedures)  
Item Means  
Test-Retest Correlations (Test-Retest Reliability)  
Factor Loadings (Exploratory Factor Analysis)  
Residuals (Confirmatory Factor Analysis)  
Cross-Construct Correlations (Validity Tests)  
Conditions of Future Use of Measures  
Discussion  
Summary  
 
6. HOW CAN ERROR BE IDENTIFIED THROUGH INNOVATIVE DESIGN AND ANALYSES?
Overview  
Using Internal Consistency and Test-Retest Reliability in Conjunction  
Using Correlations Across Item-Level Correlations  
Empirical Assessment of Item-Sequencing Effects  
Summary  
 
7. HOW DO MEASURES DIFFER?
Overview  
Stimulus-Centered Versus Respondent-Centered Scales  
Formative and Reflective Indicators of Constructs  
Summary  
 
8. WHAT ARE EXAMPLES OF MEASURES AND MEASUREMENT
ACROSS VARIOUS DISCIPLINES?
Overview  
Types of Measures  
Types of Response Formats  
Specific Examples of Scales From Different Disciplines  
Cross-Cultural Measurement  
Summary  
 
9. WHAT ARE THE IMPLICATIONS OF UNDERSTANDING MEASUREMENT ERROR FOR RESEARCH DESIGN AND ANALYSIS?
Overview  
Implications for Using Measures in Research Design  
Implications for Using Structural Equation Modeling  
Implications for Applied Research  
Summary  
 
10. HOW DOES MEASUREMENT ERROR AFFECT RESEARCH DESIGN?
Overview  
Types of Research Designs  
Measurement Error in Survey Designs  
Measurement Error in Experimental Designs  
Research Design and Measurement Error  
Summary  
Appendices  
 
11. WHAT IS THE ROLE OF MEASUREMENT IN SCIENCE?
Overview  
Assumptions of Measurement  
Qualitative Versus Quantitative Research  
Measuring the "Measurable"  
From Physical to Psychological Measurement  
Informal Measurement  
Ethics in Measurement  
Summary  
 
12. WHAT ARE THE KEY PRINCIPLES AND GUIDING
ORIENTATIONS OF THIS BOOK?
Overview  
Summary of Chapters  
Implications for Measurement and Research Design  
Summary of Orientations  
 
References
 
Index
 
About the Author

"Dr. Viswanathan has made an important contribution to the array of books available on measurement. In his book, he calls the reader’s attention to types of errors encountered in measurement, how they are made, and most importantly, how researchers can go about identifying and eliminating them. If you are doing research, whether you are developing measures or using already developed measures, the information in this book will help you to understand how to investigate the limitations of the measures you work with."

Dennis L. Jackson
University of Windsor

"This book provides a useful systematic introduction to an important and neglected area, that of measurement error in the social sciences. It will prove valuable both to students studying this topic in courses, and to Ph.D. students and researchers starting to carry out social research under their own steam."

Dougal Hutchison
National Foundation for Educational Research

"A particular virtue of the book is the author's balanced perspective. He acknowledges the reductionism that too often accompanies our increasingly sophisticated research methods—the risk that as we learn more and more about narrower issues we will lose sight of the larger contexts in which they are embedded. Essential, too, in the author's view, is a receptive stance on the part of the researcher, who should maintain an openness to alternative theories, to different measures and methods, and to different interpretations of data."

Stefan Krug, Simmons College School of Social Work
Library & Information Science Research

"The principles and methods outlined in this text are likely to be useful and necessary to researchers who are developing new studies."                    

Holly E. R. Morrell
Department of Psychology, Texas Tech University
Key features
  • The book discusses the broader issues of science and measurement, placing measurement in its scientific context.
  • The book's nuts and bolts approach helps readers build an understanding of the relationship between design choices and specific types of measurement error.
  • The text covers many intangible issues in measurement and methodology.
  • The author discusses scenarios confronted in day-to-day research for which prescriptions are often left implicit and provides readers with explicit recommendations.
  • Numerous examples of measures from a variety of disciplines help readers comprehend the topics covered and stimulate creative measure development.

For instructors

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ISBN: 9781412906425
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