Variables, Operationalization

Operationalization is an important step in the process of developing methodologically sound study designs. To operationalize a variable under study, a researcher begins with a concept and conceptualization of that concept that is clearly defined and outlined by a theoretical foundation. This entry focuses on operationalization and how this procedure relates to concepts and conceptualizations in the social scientific process. It also provides examples of various approaches commonly used to move from concepts to operationalizations. Throughout the entry, potential issues and challenges likely to be encountered by researchers are discussed. To more clearly articulate the role of operationalization, this entry begins with an introduction to concepts and conceptualizations prior to discussing operationalization. The entry concludes with a section linking concepts, conceptualizations, and operationalizations.

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