7. Conceptual models

What are the main purposes of a conceptual model?

To outline the precise relationship between concepts in a survey research project and to plan the analysis of the data.

How does a conceptual model relate to research questions in a survey research project?

A conceptual model effectively maps a survey question outlining the key concepts and indicators of the research.

How does a conceptual model represent the relationships between variables?

Through assigning the independent and dependent variables and the direction of the relationship between them.

What are the ways that researchers describe the relationships between variables?

A relationship is described as an association or a correlation. Under certain special circumstances a relationship can be causal.

What accounts for the differences between a basic and a complex conceptual model?

A basic conceptual model contains a simple relationship between two variables, whereas a complex conceptual model creates a more sophisticated set of relationships between numerous independent and dependent variables.

What is a key reason why conceptual models need to be limited in survey design?

Because for each concept there can be a number of measures, so as the number of concepts increases so too do the number of measures, potentially blowing out the number of questions and the size of the survey.