The SAGE Handbook of Research Methods in Political Science and International Relations offers a comprehensive overview of research processes in social science - from the ideation and design of research projects, through the construction of theoretical arguments, to conceptualization, measurement, and data collection, and quantitative and qualitative empirical analysis - exposited through 65 major new contributions from leading international methodologists. Each chapter surveys, builds upon, and extends the modern state of the art in its area. Following through its six-part organization, undergraduate and graduate students, researchers and practicing academics will be guided through the design, methods, and analysis of issues in Political Science and International Relations: Part One: Formulating Good Research Questions and Designing Good Research Projects; Part Two: Methods of Theoretical Argumentation; Part Three: Conceptualization and Measurement; Part Four: Large-Scale Data Collection and Representation Methods; Part Five: Quantitative-Empirical Methods; Part Six: Qualitative and Mixed Methods.
Chapter 20: Measurement Models
Measurement models in general, and latent variable models in particular, are now common in political science research. This is because political scientists are increasingly focused on improving the measurement of unobservable concepts and understanding the relationships and potential biases between different pieces of observable information and the measurement procedures that link this information to theoretical concepts. Recent methodological and computational advances have led to a flourishing of new latent variable modeling applications. These new tools provide researchers with a means of measuring difficult to observe concepts based on events, ratings or other pieces of observable information that are assumed to be a result of the underlying unobservable latent trait.1
Latent variable models are built on the idea that ...