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Construct Vs concepts

In line with the above answer, a construct is less abstract and it can be defined as a set of operational
measures that allows for the study of a theoretical concept

concepts and Constructs

Concepts are mental representations and are typically based on experience


o concepts can be of real phenomena (dogs, clouds, pain)
o concepts can be of agree-upon phenomena (truth, beauty, justice, prejudice, value,
etc.)
Three classes of things can be measured
o direct observables (height, weight, color, etc.)
o indirect observables (questionnaires provide information on gender, age, income,
etc.)
o constructs (theoretical creations that are based on observations but which cannot
be seen either directly or indirectly; things such as IQ, Leisure Satisfaction,
Environmental Values, etc., are constructs

Sample size
Sample size and representativeness are two related, but different issues. The sheer size of a
sample does not guarantee its ability to accurately represent a target population. Large
unrepresentative samples can perform as badly as small unrepresentative samples.
A survey samples ability to represent a population has to do with the sampling frame; that is the
list from which the sample is selected. When some parts of the target population are not included
in the sampled population, we are faced with selection bias, which prevent us from claiming the
sample is representative of the target population. Selection bias can occur in different ways:
Convenience samples: These include respondents who are easier to select or who are most
likely to respond. This sample will not be representative of harder-to-select individuals. Samples
from online panels are a good example of convenience samples. These panels are composed by
individuals who have expressed interest in participating in surveys, leaving out individuals who
may be part of the target population, but are not available for interviewing through the panel.
Undercoverage: This happens when we fail to include all the target population in the sampling
frame. Many online panels work hard at avoiding undercoverage bias, but the fact remains that
certain demographics are underrepresented. For example, it is difficult to field online studies
targeted at the total Hispanic population in the US without using a hybrid data collection
approach that allows us to reach unacculturated Hispanics, who are usually underrepresented in
most online panels. Coverage bias is also found in phone surveys that use telephone list sampling
frames that exclude households without landline access. As more households substitute cell

phones for their landlines, obtaining representative samples of certain demographic groups is
almost impossible without including cell phone lists in the sampling frame.
Nonresponse: Selection bias also takes place when we fail to obtain responses from all in the
selected sample. Nonrespondents tend to differ from respondents, so their absence in the final
sample makes it difficult to generalize the results to the overall target population. This is why the
design of a survey is far more important than the absolute sample size to get a representative
sample of the target population.
Judgment sample: This is a sample selected based on representative criteria based on prior
knowledge of the topic or target population. An example would be a study looking for a sample
of teenagers, and trying to intercept them at a cross-section near a high school.
Misspecification of target population: This happens when we use intentionally or
unintentionally screening criteria that leave out important subgroups of the population.
Poor data collection quality: This can introduce selection bias when there are poor quality
control to ensure that we interview the designated members of the samples. An example of this
includes allowing whoever is available in the household to take the survey instead of the
intended member based on certain screening criteria.
So when it comes to getting a representative sample, sample source is more important than
sample size. If you want a representative sample of a particular population, you need to ensure
that:

The sample source includes all the target population


The selected data collection method (online, phone, paper, in person) can reach
individuals, with characteristics typical of those possessed by the population of interest
The screening criteria truly reflect the target population
You can minimize nonresponse bias with good survey design, incentives and the
appropriate contact method
There are quality controls in place during the data collection process to guarantee that
designated members of the sample are reached.