Measurement refers generally to the process of assigning a numeric value to, or ordering characteristics or traits of, entities under study so, ideally, the labels accurately represent the characteristic measured. This introductory chapter discussed this definition of measurement and its relevance to social work research and everyday life. This background information is essential to understanding the major content areas of the book. Following this discussion the reader is a brief review of terminology used throughout the book, the authors' philosophical and theoretical orientations, and the relevance of measurement to qualitative research.
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