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Book

Reliability and Validity in Quantitative Measurement

Is it possible to measure anything that exists? Quantitative measurement assumes that indicators may be found to represent the concepts of interest to social workers. It may be defined as the process of assigning numbers to the properties or attributes of client variables. For example, if a client is depressed and we want to know whether our intervention helps to alleviate that depression, then we might find a standardized questionnaire such as the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI; Beck, 1978) that asks for client self-reports of feelings of depression. We cannot actually see depression, nor can we touch it or feel it. But we can see its indicators, and we can design a questionnaire to measure it, or we might ask the client to track the specific symptoms of depression such as inability to sleep. Whatever method of measuring client problems that we choose, it is important to have the assurance ...

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