A datum (singular of data) may be either a variable or a constant, depending upon the situation. A variable is something that...well, varies, while is constant is just that. Example: In the general population, sex is a variable. In a monastery, it's a constant. Another example: In the general population, monthly pay is a variable. In a class of Airman Recruits with no dependents and no prior service, it's a constant.
Operationalization is the specific process that is used to express a variable as a number. Operationalization also depends upon the situation. Examples:
* Temperature can be operationalized as the height of a mercury column in a glass tube, the tension of a bimetallic strip, or the voltage in a thermocouple.
* Income can be operationalized as a number obtained from the HR office, as an employee's self-report, or as the figure filed on Form 1040. (Are they all the same? Maybe that's the research question!)
* Stress can be operationalized as a psychiatric diagnosis, a score on a self-administered stress test, or a range of physical symptoms (muscle tension, serum adrenalin, stomach acidity, etc.)
For this TD, identify THREE variable that are relevant to your job or business, and describe
ONE operationalization for each of them. Try to identify variables that other students haven't discussed. Help your classmates clarify their thinking by (tactfully) pointing out errors and ambiguous statements, and asking for clarifications.
Here are some ideas for you:
- Number of sick days taken on a Friday
To operationalize this, you would have to pull out a record of all of the sick days reported by employees on their timesheet. It might be interesting to see if the sick days taken on friday differ on ...
The three relevant variables are identified. The expert describes one operationalization.