The online Webster Dictionary (at http://www.m-w.com/) provides a list of definitions on the term “model.” A model is “a pattern of something to be made,” “a description or analogy used to help visualize something that cannot be directly observed,” or “a system of postulates, data, and inferences presented as a mathematical description of an entity or state of affairs.” Using a daily life example, if we say we want to build a house on the model of an old fashion farmhouse, that old farmhouse would be the model: its structure, style, shape, color, and all other components together formulate the “model.” In short, a model has its particular components, and the components connect to one another in a specific way.
In the present chapter, the term “modeling” is defined as the procedures to develop, formulate, and evaluate a new model. In the farmhouse example, the model is an existing model that has been developed before, and is available for people to use. However, it is much more complex to develop a new research model that accurately reflects the major components, methods, and findings from a study. Careful decisions need to be made on the types of model, methods of modeling, and context or research area the model might apply to. It may take years to complete the entire modeling procedures.