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Research Methods

SPSS Analysis

Levels of Measurement
(Quantitative Surveys)
Research Variables
• Variable: Any characteristic that can take
on more than one value
– Examples:

• Research is the study of the relationship

between variables (quantitative research)
– Therefore, there must be at least two variables
in a research study (or there is no relationship
to study)
 Dependent: variables that we are studying
(is being influenced by another one)

 Independent Variables: variables that we

are more stable (influence the dependent)
 Investigate if employees of an X company are committed

 Investigate if a new product will be successful

 Investigate the influence of service quality on the

retention rate of the customers

 Find out if there are any differences in customer

satisfaction between males and females

 Test the relationship between employee turnover and

demographic variables
Measuring Variables in Research
• Measurement: A process by which we
assign numbers to indicate the amount of
some variable present

• Sometimes the number assignment is easy

to understand (e.g., age of individuals)

• Sometimes it is more arbitrary (e.g., 1 for

male and 2 for female)
Scales of Measurement
• Based on how closely the scale matches the
real number system

• Scales of Measurement
– Nominal - Dichotomous
– Ordinal
– Interval - Continuous
Nominal Scales
1. Nominal – Dichotomous

– Each number reflects an arbitrary category

label rather than an amount of a variable
– Examples: education level, gender, socio-
economic groups, Preferences

– Produces nominal or categorical data

Ordinal Scales
• 2. Ordinal scales
• A scale that indicates rank ordering
– Reflects the order, but not the amount of a
– Examples: Rate the following products
according to their quality
– X ____, Y_____, Z____

– Produces ordered data

Interval Scales
• 3. Interval - continuous
• A scale that has equal intervals
– The scale indicates amount, but there is no zero
point on the scale
– Examples: temperature on the Celsius scale,
most psychological tests, Likert Scales, Age,
• Produces score data
• Reliability refers to the consistency of
• Types of reliability
– Test-retest reliability: degree of consistency
over time
– Internal consistency reliability: degree to
which the items of a measure are in agreement
• A scale is valid if it measures what it is supposed to

• Face validity
• Predictive validity: how well a scale predicts other
variables (e.g., an IQ test is likely to be a reasonably valid
predictor of grades in school)

– When used this way, the scale is called the predictor

measure and the measure predicted is called the