# Mb-0050

1. a. Differentiate between nominal, ordinal, interval and ratio scales, with an example of each. [ 5marks] b. What are the purposes of measurement in social science research? [ 5 marks] 2.3 Levels of Measurement Measurement may be classified into four different levels, based on the characteristics of order, distance and origin. 1. Nominal measurement This level of measurement consists in assigning numerals or symbols to different categories of a variable. The example of male and female applicants to an MBA program mentioned earlier is an example of nominal measurement. The numerals or symbols are just labels and have no quantitative value. The number of cases under each category are counted. Nominal measurement is therefore the simplest level of measurement. It does not have characteristics such as order, distance or arithmetic origin. 2. Ordinal measurement In this level of measurement, persons or objects are assigned numerals which indicate ranks with respect to one or more properties, either in ascending or descending order. Example Individuals may be ranked according to their “socio-economic class”, which is measured by a combination of income, education, occupation and wealth. The individual with the highest score might be assigned rank 1, the next highest rank 2, and so on, or vice versa. The numbers in this level of measurement indicate only rank order and not equal distance or absolute quantities. This means that the distance between ranks 1 and 2 is not necessarily equal to the distance between ranks 2 and 3. Ordinal scales may be constructed using rank order, rating and paired comparisons. Variables that lend themselves to ordinal measurement include preferences, ratings of organizations and economic status. Statistical techniques that are commonly used to analyze ordinal scale data are the median and rank order correlation coefficients.

3. Interval measurement This level of measurement is more powerful than the nominal and ordinal levels of measurement, since it has one additional characteristic – equality of distance. However, it does not have an origin or a true zero. This implies that it is not possible to multiply or divide the numbers on an interval scale. Example The Centigrade or Fahrenheit temperature gauge is an example of the interval level of measurement. A temperature of 50 degrees is exactly 10 degrees hotter than 40 degrees and 10 degrees cooler than 60 degrees. Since interval scales are more powerful than nominal or ordinal scales, they also lend themselves to more powerful statistical techniques, such as standard deviation, product moment correlation and “t” tests and “F” tests of significance. 4. Ratio measurement This is the highest level of measurement and is appropriate when measuring characteristics which have an absolute zero point. This level of measurement has all the three characteristics – order, distance and origin. Examples Height, weight, distance and area. Since there is a natural zero, it is possible to multiply and divide the numbers on a ratio scale. Apart from being able to use all the statistical techniques that are used with the nominal, ordinal and interval scales, techniques like the geometric mean and coefficient of variation may also be used. The main limitation of ratio measurement is that it cannot be used for characteristics such as leadership quality, happiness, satisfaction and other properties which do not have natural zero points. The different levels of measurement and their characteristics may be summed up. In the table below – Levels of measurement Characteristics Nominal No order, distance or origin

Ordinal Order, but no distance or origin Interval Both order and distance, but no origin Ratio Order, distance and origin

B---2.2 Definition and Purpose of Measurement Different definitions of measurement have been offered by different authors– 1. According to Stevens, measurement is “the assignment of numerals to objects or events according to rules.” A simple example of assignment of numerals according to a rule is described below – Suppose a survey is conducted to study the applicants of an MBA program and one of the objectives of the study is to find out the sex-wise break-up of applicants. In this case, we may assign the number “0” to male applicants and the number “1” to female applicants. Thus numbers may be used to label individuals, events or things. 2. Campbell defines measurement as “the assignment of numbers to represent properties.” 3. In the words of Torgerson, measurement is “the assignment of numbers to objects to represent amounts or degrees of a property possessed by all of the objects. In research, it is necessary to distinguish between “objects” and “properties’ or characteristics of these objects. For example, a person is an object and his/her physical characteristics include height, weight, color, etc. while his or her psychological characteristics include intelligence and attitudes. The important point to remember is that the researcher is concerned with measuring properties and not the objects themselves. While physical properties may be directly observed, psychological properties such as intelligence are inferred. For example, a child’s score in an IQ test indicates his or her level of intelligence. Measurement also has several purposes – • The researcher constructs theories to explain social and psychological phenomena (e.g. labor unrest,

employee satisfaction), which in turn are used to derive hypotheses or assumptions. These hypotheses can be verified statistically only by measuring the variables in the hypotheses. • Measurement makes the empirical description of social and psychological phenomena easier. Example – When conducting a study of a tribal community, measuring devices help the researcher in classifying cultural patterns and behaviors. • Measurement also makes it possible to quantify variables and use statistical techniques to analyze the data gathered. • Measurement enables the researcher to classify individuals or objects and to compare them in terms of specific properties or characteristics by measuring the concerned variables. Examples Comparison of male and female students’ performance in college exams or of length of stay on the job of older and younger employees.

2. a. What are the sources from which one may be able to identify research problems? [ 5 marks] b. Why literature survey is important in research? [ 5 marks] 3.1 Meaning of Research Problem Research really begins when the researcher experiences some difficulty, i.e., a problem demanding a solution within the subject-are of his discipline. This general area of interest, however, defines only the range of subject-matter within which the researcher would see and pose a specific problem for research. Personal values play an important role in the selection of a topic for research. Social conditions do often shape the preference of investigators in a subtle and imperceptible way. The formulation of the topic into a research problem is, really speaking the first step in a scientific enquiry. A problem in simple words is some difficulty experienced by the researcher in a theoretical or practical situation. Solving this difficulty is the task of research. R. L. Ackoffs analysis affords considerable guidance in identifying problem for research. He visualizes five components of a problem. 1) Research-consumer: There must be an individual or a group which experiences some difficulty. 2) Research-consumer’s Objectives: The research-consumer must have available, alternative means for

achieving the objectives he desires. 3) Alternative Means to Meet the Objectives: The research-consumer must have available, alternative means for achieving the objectives he desires. 4) Doubt in Regard to Selection of Alternatives: The existence of alternative courses of action in not enough; in order to experience a problem, the research consumer must have some doubt as to which alternative to select. 5) There must be One or More Environments to which the Difficulty or Problem Pertains: A change in environment may produce or remove a problem. A research-consumer may have doubts as to which will be the most efficient means in one environment but would have no such doubt in another. Objectives: After studying this unit you should be able to understand: • The meaning of Research Problem • Choosing the problem • Review of Literature • Criteria for formulating the problem • Objective of Formulating the Problem • Techniques involved in Formulating the Problem • Criteria of Good Research Problem

3.2 Choosing the Problem The selection of a problem is the first step in research. The term problem means a question or issue to be examined. The selection of a problem for research is not an easy task; it self is a problem. It is least amenable to formal methodological treatment. Vision, an imaginative insight, plays an important role in this process. One with a critical, curious and imaginative mind and is sensitive to practical problems could easily identify problems for study. The sources from which one may be able to identify research problems or develop problems awareness are:

• Review of literature • Academic experience • Daily experience • Exposure to field situations • Consultations • Brain storming • Research • Intuition

3.3 Review of Literature Frequently, an exploratory study is concerned with an area of subject matter in which explicit hypothesis have not yet been formulated. The researcher’s task then is to review the available material with an eye on the possibilities of developing hypothesis from it. In some areas of the subject matter, hypothesis may have been stated by previous research workers. The researcher has to take stock of these various hypotheses with a view to evaluating their usefulness for further research and to consider whether they suggest any new hypothesis. Sociological journals, economic reviews, the bulletin of abstracts of current social sciences research, directory of doctoral dissertation accepted by universities etc afford a rich store of valuable clues. In addition to these general sources, some governmental agencies and voluntary organizations publish listings of summaries of research in their special fields of service. Professional organizations, research groups and voluntary organizations are a constant source of information about unpublished works in their special fields.

3. a. What are the characteristics of a good research design? [ 5marks] b. What are the components of a research design? [ 5 marks] Needs of Research Design The need for the methodologically designed research:

a. In many a research inquiry, the researcher has no idea as to how accurate the results of his study ought to be in order to be useful. Where such is the case, the researcher has to determine how much inaccuracy may be tolerated. In a quite few cases he may be in a position to know how much inaccuracy his method of research will produce. In either case he should design his research if he wants to assure himself of useful results. b. In many research projects, the time consumed in trying to ascertain what the data mean after they have been collected is much greater than the time taken to design a research which yields data whose meaning is known as they are collected. c. The idealized design is concerned with specifying the optimum research procedure that could be followed were there no practical restrictions. 5.2.1 Characteristics of a Good Research Design 1. It is a series of guide posts to keep one going in the right direction. 2. It reduces wastage of time and cost. 3. It encourages co-ordination and effective organization. 4. It is a tentative plan which undergoes modifications, as circumstances demand, when the study progresses, new aspects, new conditions and new relationships come to light and insight into the study deepens. 5. It has to be geared to the availability of data and the cooperation of the informants. 6. It has also to be kept within the manageable limits 5.3 Components of Research Design It is important to be familiar with the important concepts relating to research design. They are: 1. Dependent and Independent variables: A magnitude that varies is known as a variable. The concept may assume different quantitative values, like height, weight, income, etc. Qualitative variables are not quantifiable in the strictest sense of objectivity. However, the qualitative phenomena may also be quantified in terms of the presence or absence of the attribute considered. Phenomena that assume different values quantitatively even in decimal points are known as ‘continuous variables’. But, all variables need not be continuous. Values that can be expressed only in integer values are called ‘noncontinuous variables’. In statistical term, they are also known as ‘discrete variable’. For example, age is a continuous variable; where as the number of children is a non-continuous variable. When changes in one variable depends upon the changes in one or more other variables, it is known as a dependent or endogenous variable, and the variables that cause the changes in the dependent variable are known as the independent or explanatory or exogenous variables. For example, if demand depends upon price, then demand is a dependent variable, while price is the independent variable. And if, more variables determine demand, like income and prices of substitute commodity, then demand also depends upon them in addition to the own price. Then, demand is a dependent variable which is determined by the independent variables like own price, income and price of substitute. 2. Extraneous variable: The independent variables which are not directly related to the purpose of the study but affect the dependent variable are known as extraneous variables. For instance, assume that a researcher wants to test the hypothesis that there is relationship between children’s school

performance and their self-concepts, in which case the latter is an independent variable and the former, the dependent variable. In this context, intelligence may also influence the school performance. However, since it is not directly related to the purpose of the study undertaken by the researcher, it would be known as an extraneous variable. The influence caused by the extraneous variable on the dependent variable is technically called as an ‘experimental error’. Therefore, a research study should always be framed in such a manner that the dependent variable completely influences the change in the independent variable and any other extraneous variable or variables. 3. Control: One of the most important features of a good research design is to minimize the effect of extraneous variable. Technically, the term control is used when a researcher designs the study in such a manner that it minimizes the effects of extraneous independent variables. The term control is used in experimental research to reflect the restrain in experimental conditions. 4. Confounded relationship: The relationship between dependent and independent variables is said to be confounded by an extraneous variable, when the dependent variable is not free from its effects. Research hypothesis: When a prediction or a hypothesized relationship is tested by adopting scientific methods, it is known as research hypothesis. The research hypothesis is a predictive statement which relates a dependent variable and an independent variable. Generally, a research hypothesis must consist of at least one dependent variable and one independent variable. Whereas, the relationships that are assumed but not be tested are predictive statements that are not to be objectively verified are not classified as research hypothesis. Experimental and control groups: When a group is exposed to usual conditions in an experimental hypothesis-testing research, it is known as ‘control group’. On the other hand, when the group is exposed to certain new or special condition, it is known as an ‘experimental group’. In the aforementioned example, the Group A can be called a control group and the Group B an experimental one. If both the groups A and B are exposed to some special feature, then both the groups may be called as ‘experimental groups’. A research design may include only the experimental group or the both experimental and control groups together. Treatments: Treatments are referred to the different conditions to which the experimental and control groups are subject to. In the example considered, the two treatments are the parents with regular earnings and those with no regular earnings. Likewise, if a research study attempts to examine through an experiment regarding the comparative impacts of three different types of fertilizers on the yield of rice crop, then the three types of fertilizers would be treated as the three treatments. Experiment: An experiment refers to the process of verifying the truth of a statistical hypothesis relating to a given research problem. For instance, experiment may be conducted to examine the yield of a certain new variety of rice crop developed. Further, Experiments may be categorized into two types namely, absolute experiment and comparative experiment. If a researcher wishes to determine the impact of a chemical fertilizer on the yield of a particular variety of rice crop, then it is known as absolute experiment. Meanwhile, if the researcher wishes to determine the impact of chemical fertilizer as compared to the impact of bio-fertilizer, then the experiment is known as a comparative experiment. Experiment unit: Experimental units refer to the predetermined plots, characteristics or the blocks, to which the different treatments are applied. It is worth mentioning here that such experimental units

must be selected with great caution. 5. a. How is secondary data useful to researcher? [ 5 marks] b. What are the criteria used for evaluation of secondary data? [ 5 marks] ANSWER8.4 Advantages of Secondary Data Secondary sources have some advantages: 1. Secondary data, if available can be secured quickly and cheaply. Once their source of documents and reports are located, collection of data is just matter of desk work. Even the tediousness of copying the data from the source can now be avoided, thanks to Xeroxing facilities. 2. Wider geographical area and longer reference period may be covered without much cost. Thus, the use of secondary data extends the researcher’s space and time reach. 3. The use of secondary data broadens the data base from which scientific generalizations can be made. 4. Environmental and cultural settings are required for the study. 5. The use of secondary data enables a researcher to verify the findings bases on primary data. It readily meets the need for additional empirical support. The researcher need not wait the time when additional primary data can be collected 8.6 Evaluation of Secondary Data )When a researcher wants to use secondary data for his research, he should evaluate them before deciding to use them. 1. Data Pertinence The first consideration in evaluation is to examine the pertinence of the available secondary data to the research problem under study. The following questions should be considered. • What are the definitions and classifications employed? Are they consistent ? • What are the measurements of variables used? What is the degree to which they conform to the requirements of our research? • What is the coverage of the secondary data in terms of topic and time? Does this coverage fit the needs of our research? On the basis of above consideration, the pertinence of the secondary data to the research on hand should be determined, as a researcher who is imaginative and flexible may be able to redefine his

research problem so as to make use of otherwise unusable available data. 2. Data Quality If the researcher is convinced about the available secondary data for his needs, the next step is to examine the quality of the data. The quality of data refers to their accuracy, reliability and completeness. The assurance and reliability of the available secondary data depends on the organization which collected them and the purpose for which they were collected. What is the authority and prestige of the organization? Is it well recognized? Is it noted for reliability? It is capable of collecting reliable data? Does it use trained and well qualified investigators? The answers to these questions determine the degree of confidence we can have in the data and their accuracy. It is important to go to the original source of the secondary data rather than to use an immediate source which has quoted from the original. Then only, the researcher can review the cautionary ands other comments that were made in the original source. 3. Data Completeness The completeness refers to the actual coverage of the published data. This depends on the methodology and sampling design adopted by the original organization. Is the methodology sound? Is the sample size small or large? Is the sampling method appropriate? Answers to these questions may indicate the appropriateness and adequacy of the data for the problem under study. The question of possible bias should also be examined. Whether the purpose for which the original organization collected the data had a particular orientation? Has the study been made to promote the organization’s own interest? How the study was conducted? These are important clues. The researcher must be on guard when the source does not report the methodology and sampling design. Then it is not possible to determine the adequacy of the secondary data for the researcher’s study.