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What is operational definition in psychology and examples

What is operational definition in psychology and examples
Approaches to Psychology Introduction to Psychology

What is operational definition in psychology and examples

On this page we will explore what what is operational definition in psychology and list some examples. The “operational” part means giving the meaning of something as it’s being used in a particular study. So in psychology, an operational definition means defining the variable as it exists in the present study (Source: Themantic Education).

Five Examples of operational definition in psychology

Examples of the Operational Definitions of Conceptual Variables That Have Been Used in Psychological Research” lists some potential operational definitions of conceptual variables that have been used in psychological research. As you read through this list, note that in contrast to the abstract conceptual variables, the measured variables are very specific. This specificity is important for two reasons. First, more specific definitions mean that there is less danger that the collected data will be misunderstood by others. Second, specific definitions will enable future researchers to replicate the research.

Conceptual variableOperational definitions
Aggression
Number of presses of a button that administers shock to another student
Number of seconds taken to honk the horn at the car ahead after a stoplight turns green
Interpersonal attraction
Number of inches that an individual places his or her chair away from another person
Number of millimeters of pupil dilation when one person looks at another
Employee satisfaction
Number of days per month an employee shows up to work on time
Rating of job satisfaction from 1 (not at all satisfied) to 9 (extremely satisfied)
Decision-making skills
Number of groups able to correctly solve a group performance task
Number of seconds in which a person solves a problem
Depression
Number of negative words used in a creative story
Number of appointments made with a psychotherapist

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