Operationalizing is a process in quantitative research whereby a concept or abstract idea, such as “stress,” is translated to a measurable and interpretable form. It involves clarifying the scope and dimensions of a concept (conceptual definition) and the development of indicators to capture those dimensions (operational definition). Operationalization can occur both before and after data collection. Careful consideration must be given to operationalization of a concept as it will have implications for analysis outcomes such as prevalence estimations, associations with other variables, and generalizability of the results. This entry presents the process and considerations for operationalizing concepts for research purposes, integrated with examples of operationalizing both at the data collection and analysis phases.

Conceptual Definition

Consulting the scientific literature to see how the concept has been defined ...

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