Measurement and Operationalization I: Variables Pertaining to Aggregate Units
Research usually begins with imagination: what factors account for some behavior or pattern or condition? Political scientists usually read journalists' stories, editorial essays, and research reports of various kinds in generating their ideas. As mentioned in chapter 1, ideas that actually evolve into research projects require that the researcher consider the problem in conceptual terms. That is, he or she must identify the basic factors that transcend a specific incident or observation and that should be examined closely in the research design.