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How to operationalise these variables??

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Why bother with a post grad course - waste of time? 17-10-2016
    • Thread Starter

    No matter how hard I try, I can't seem to grasp operationalisation.
    Please could someone help me operationalise these variables?
    1) Friendliness between two people
    2) How fashionable you are
    3) How frightening a film is
    Thank you so much xx

    To operationalise is to tell people how you plan to measure your variables.

    How are you going to measure friendliness?
    How are you going to measure being fashionable?

    EG, With How frightening a film is, you could measure perspiration levels (how much they sweat), and clearly define an amount of sweat to certain level of fear.
    10 ml of sweat = very scared.
    5 ml of sweat = average scared
    1ml of sweat = not scared at all.

    Or measuring heart rate. An increased heart rate would show that they are scared, and it's not something we can easily manipulate, so would be more valid.

    Or you could measure how many times they jump during the film.

    You can think of it as moving between a conceputal/hypothetical description of what you are intending to measure and study to a concrete method of how you will operationalise (or "operationally" or practically conduct the study). In other words, there is no direct measure of friendliness, fashionable, or emotions and we need some crude practical method of assessing these things. Operationalising the variable is thus explaining how you will practically assess a (sometimes) vague concept.
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