Operational definition

can someone explain the operational definition and with an example plz?

Operational definitions are how we “measure” certain variables. It’s giving a precise measure of that variable so other scientists know what we mean when we say things like “reduces depression.” That isn’t precise enough, so we would say “demonstrates less symptoms” because it is something we can specifically count. Same thing if I wanted to do a study to see if candy harmed test performance. How do a I measure “candy?” I would have to define specifically what type along with how much. If I am doing a study on antidepressants, I don’t say they were given “some antidepressants,” I would say “20mg of lexapro.”

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Thank You!

Operationalizing the variable means specifying what you are measuring. If I’m studying happiness, I need to identify exactly what happiness looks like. Number of smiles, laughs, etc. and focus on just that as my measurement of happiness. Essentially what does the variable look like? Hope this helps some.

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