Variables, Conceptualization

Conceptualization is a process of defining meaning of the terms used in a study (e.g., definition using concepts and words) based on previous scholarship. Utilizing prior research provides a basis for creating agreement upon variable conceptualization within the field. However, when reviewing a scholarly article, it is common (and important) for researchers to critically question how something is conceptualized and how it is operationalized. This entry focuses on conceptualization in the variable construction process:

Conceptualization → Definition → Operationalization → Measurement

Researchers use various terminologies throughout the conceptual, theoretical, and empirical stages of research. Occasionally, these terminologies are utilized interchangeably; however, there are distinctions. Variables have conceptual definitions. These definitions include elements of interest to researchers. Elements are specifically identi-fied in the hypotheses ...

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