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Operational Definitions

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Identify the operational definitions in the following statements and discuss what, if anything, may be wrong with them: (1) smoking is bad for people's health, (2) poverty causes crime, (3) children who watch more than three hours of television a day tend to be more hyperactive than other children, and (4) alcohol consumption is related to spousal abuse. Then try to transform one of the statements into a testable hypothesis with precise operational definitions.

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You have given me four different statements, and I will provide you with some comments on each. Then, I will demonstrate how to take one of those statements and transform it into a statement that has a precise operational definition, resulting in the ability to formulate a testable hypothesis.

First, be remind that an operational definition is a variable that is clearly defined and describes exactly what you will be measuring in your study. It cannot be a generalization, as these statements are. Let me give you some notes about each:

Statement 1: Smoking is bad for people's health. - This statement gives no specific. Is the variable people who actually smoke, or people who are affected by second hand smoke. ...

Solution Summary

The expert identifies the operational definitions of statements.

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Operational Definitions Exercises

Below are a number of statements with bolded and underlined phrases or words within them. The bolded and underlined words are the variables for which you will generate operational definitions. Although operational definitions can be physiological or self-report in nature, you are to create operational definitions that are behavioral. Make sure you are clear on behavioral operational definitions before continuing (See text and PPT presentations).
Below each original statement write your operational definition for each variable. Then recreate the sentence substituting your operational definitions for all of the conceptual definitions (bolded and underlined terms). Your work will be graded on your ability to create operational definitions that are (1) quantifiable, (2) behavioral, and (3) objectively measurable - meaning others could measure them in the same fashion.

1. Eating fast food leads to being unhealthier than not eating fast food.

2. People in a bad mood will be more helpful than those in a good mood.

3. High levels of self-disclosure improve romantic relationships more than low levels of self-disclosure.

4. People who exercise regularly sleep better at night than those who do not sleep regularly.

5. People who like professional wrestling have poorer interpersonal skills than those who do not like professional wrestling.

6. Young women look in mirrors more often than older women.

7. People learn better when they learn in quiet versus noisy places.

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