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Unpick the data to get the true measure of a study

When weighing up the value of research, it is vital to understand the metrics used, argues Christian Bokhove

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In many studies, we read that things have been measured. In the natural sciences, where we have things like temperature or distance, this can be straightforward, partly because metrics have been standardised. In the social sciences, this is less easy.

How do you measure intelligence? Or if a pupil knows enough about maths? And how do you measure “mindset”?

When you read a study, it can be useful to unpick how important variables have been measured. This can then help in judging the validity of the measure: does the instrument really measure what it purports to measure?

For an example of why ...

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