Research Methods

What is operational definition of a variable? Can someone explain

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.

So, if you are looking at an experiment that looks at watching violent TV causes violent behavior. The operational definition of the IV might be power rangers (violent TV) the operational definition of the DV might be a behavioral checklist.

Just to clarify,

the operational definition of the independent/dependent variables for a certain experiment would be exclusive to that experiment only?

if that makes any sense.

You can operationalize variables for a study too. You are just identifying how those variables are being measured for replication.

If you are identifying levels of anger or happiness, you need to specify what each looks like. For instance, anger is yelling so you look for how often someone yells to operationalize this variable. Same with happiness. Maybe you define it by how often someone laughs.

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