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Operational Definition

Identifies one or more specific, observable events or conditions such that any other researcher can independently measure and/or test for them.

Example: A researcher measuring happiness and depression in college students decides to use a ten-question happiness scale to measure positive outlook in her subjects. In other words, her operational definition of happiness in this case is a given subject’s score on the test.

Operational Definition
APA Reference
Grinnell, R. (2018). Operational Definition. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 1, 2020, from