How do you know your variables are measuring what you think they are? And how do you know they’re doing it well?
A key part of answering these questions is establishing reliability and validity of the measurements that you use in your research study. But the process of establishing reliability and validity is confusing. There are a dizzying number of choices available to you.
by Christos Giannoulis, PhD
Many times in science we are intrigued to measure an underlying characteristic that cannot be observed or measured directly. This measure is hypothesized to exist to explain variables, such as behavior, that can be observed.
The measurable variables are called manifest variables. The unmeasurable are called latent variables.
Latent variables are often called factors, especially in the context of factor analysis.