Simon Jackman

in The Oxford Handbook of Political Methodology

Published in print August 2008 | ISBN: 9780199286546
Published online September 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780191577307 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks of Political Science


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This article shows that the words ‘behavioural’ and ‘behaviour’ turn out to be better measures as judged by tests of criterion and convergent validity. It specifically discusses measurement problems. Further, it pertains to statistical models that link latent variables and their observed indicators as measurement models. The success of measurement — the quality of the inferences provided by a measurement model — is usually assessed with reference to two key concepts: validity and reliability. The distinct uses of measures of latent variables are reported. The article then deals with the costs of ignoring measurement error. Additionally, a quick introduction to factor analysis, item-response models, and a very general class of latent variable models are briefly given. Moreover, it describes the inference for discrete latent variables and the measurement in a dynamic setting.

Keywords: measurement; criterion; convergent validity; inferences; reliability; factor analysis; item-response models; latent variable models

Article.  14922 words. 

Subjects: Political Methodology ; Comparative Politics

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