Operational definitions

what is an operational definition and how do i write one?

An operational definition is the statement of procedures the researcher is going to use in order to measure a specific variable. We need operational definitions in psychology so that we know exactly what researchers are talking about when they refer to something.

For you to write one, you just need to make sure you clarify the terms you’re talking about and what’s associated with them!

An operational definition makes it possible to measure a variable (whether that definition is valid or not is a different discussion.)

We can talk about aggression but we need to see behaviors to measure it. Punching, kicking.

And the like.

It’s also very important to know the purpose of operational definitions.
By defining variables and laboratory procedures as clearly as possible, other research teams can replicate the original study and validate/invalidate the original results.

Fiveable Logo

2550 north lake drive
suite 2
milwaukee, wi 53211

✉️ help@fiveable.me

learn

about for students for parents for teachers for schools & districts content team privacy contact

practice

🥇 2020 Fiveable Olympics study plans upcoming events trivia hypertyper resources cram passes

connect

community tiktok discord twitter instagram facebook careers

*ap® and advanced placement® are registered trademarks of the college board, which was not involved in the production of, and does not endorse, this product.

© fiveable 2020 | all rights reserved.