[Statistics Tutorial 3] Measurement in Statistics: Concepts & Variables




Concepts are mental images or perceptions and therefore their meanings vary individual to individual. Concepts cannot be measured. Like, Effectiveness, Satisfaction, Domestic Violence etc. are concepts Variable are formed through concepts.


Concepts to Variables

Concepts to Variables


E.g. Let’s say we take a concept : Rich (Rich is a concept because  the definition of “rich” varies from person to person: for one, rich can mean earning more than 2 million dollars per week whereas for another, rich could mean earning Rs. 2,000 per week or for another person “rich” could be defined as being intellectually wealthy!)

Indicators of someone being “Rich” can include say, Income & Assets

To make this a variable (that can be measured, like: Age, gender, weight, height etc.) we can have working definitions of the concept that is the decision level for us to make concepts measurable. In this case it could be:

i) Income per year (If more than Rs.10,00,000/-)

ii) Total Value of Home(s), Car(s) (If estimated more than Rs.20,00,000/-)


This is how we convert concepts into variables for making measurement easier.


Formal definition of Variable by Black and Champion:

“Rational units of analysis that can assume any one number of designated sets of values. It is a concept that can be measured on any one of the four types of measurement scale, which have varying degrees of precision in measurement, is called a variable”.


Components are items that can’t be broken down further. Components used for measurement cluster to form Constructs that are measurable.


For components to be Measurable

For components to be Measurable


Superlative Constructs comprise of cluster of constructs that are broken down till all their consisting components are exhausted.


Constructs broken down for Exhaustion

Constructs broken down for Exhaustion


The more the components, the better it reflects the thoroughness of the review of Literature, which intern leads to a more authentic research.




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