Applied Research Assignment on Observation & Questionnaire
1. Describe the key purpose of observation, outlining advantages and disadvantages of this research approach to collecting data.
2. Discuss four dimensions that distinguish various approaches to observation.
3. A disadvantage of observation is observer bias. Discuss at least two ways of minimizing observer bias.
4. Provide a critical evaluation of the ethics of using concealed observation as a research method.
1. Advancements in technology have helped data gathering via onlinesurvey questionnaires? Discuss the mechanisms that can be used to administer online questionnaires and outline the advantages and disadvantages that may occur.
2. Explain the principles of wording, stating how these are important in questionnaire design, citing examples not in the book.
3. How are multiple methods of data collection and from multiple sources related to the reliability and validity of the measures?
4. "Every data collection method has its own built-in biases. Therefore, resorting to multi-methods of data collection is only going to compound the biases." Provide a critique of this statement.
Purpose of observation
The research on applied research assignmentmentions that observation is a method of data collection from relevant respondents. It is a method of collecting knowledge about a certain phenomenon. As stated by Spradley (2016), observation is broad, and it defines the participatory study by which researchers need to develop a setting to identify the behavior of participants. Observation falls primarily under the qualitative research technique. There are various purposes of observational research carried out by researchers, especially for human sciences. There are different types of observation named naturalistic observation, covert observation, shadowing, convert observation, and participant observation. The purpose of observation is discussed below within the applied research assignment:
Observations are carried out to collect data from participants associated with the research process (Rouletet al. 2017). Very sensitive information is collected via a direct observation process. Participants' observation is mainly carried out to collect sensitive as well as confidential data from participants.
This is another important purpose of the research observation process. Observation has a goal to answer only to specific research questions. As stated by Shah (2017) with regards to the case scenario of applied research assignment, by observing the activities of participants, judgment can be made. Thus, gathering data based on the direct judgment is the most important purpose of the observation process.
The behavior of participants:
Identifying the behavior of participants required for a qualitative research process is the primary purpose of the observational study. With the help of participants' observation, the behavior of participants can be easily tracked.
Unbiased and accurate data collection is another important purpose of the observation process used in a research study (Ciesielskaet al. 2018). Thus accurate data can be collected via an observation process where there is no chance of data bias that can hamper the authenticity of the research process.
Primary advantages of observation process are discussed in the following section of applied research assignment:
Observation is the simple method of collection of data where not much knowledge is required. In addition to this, some form of scientific control is required for the observation process that helps to collect accurate and first-hand data. This is a simple and less expensive method of data collection compared to other forms of data collection methods.
Usefulness for hypothesis:
Observation is the primary base for the development of hypotheses, where the researchers continuously focus on the observation of the phenomenon. It is stated in the applied research assignmentthat observation helps to identify the participant's behavior accurately that determines the accuracy of the research answers.
First-hand data can be easily identified with the help of the observation process. Like a survey or an interview process, research has to depend upon the answers of participants. In the case of observation, researchers can easily collect the information by observing the behavior of participants. The information is also biased free and first handed that provides accuracy.
It is stated earliest in the applied research assignment that researchers do not need to depend upon the participants for the collection of data. Researchers can easily collect information without any help from participants. Data collected by researchers are also biased free as there is no chance of data misrepresentation.
There certain imitations of disadvantages are present for the observation process. These are the mentioned section below within this applied research assignment:
This is the most common form of the disadvantage of the observation process. Past issues cannot be identified with the help of the observation process. In addition to this, when there are no other options, it has to depend upon the document review for the remember of past incidence. The perception of the observer may not be correct, that affects the overall authenticity of the research process.
Lack of reliability:
A phenomenon occurring in society cannot be controlled via an observation process. In addition to this, a laboratory experiment cannot be done that can help to identify the actual data that are valid and reliable.
Observation is the slow process that takes lots of time to identify the behavior of participants selected for a study. The applied research assignmentexamines the words ofJorgensen (2020), valid observation needs some time frame that decreases the interest of researchers, especially in social science research. In addition to this, the sampling process cannot be brought into the practical process.
Complete answers to specific research questions cannot be identified with the help of the observation process (Rouletet al. 2017). Effective and sufficient precision cannot be drawn in the observation process that hinders the establishment of generalization of data.
Dimensions of observation
There are basically four dimensions present that differ from various approaches to observation. These dimensions are mentioned in the next section of applied research assignment:
Naturalistic observation is the most common method of collecting data from participants. This is the way by which data from the surrounding world can be collected easily. As mentioned by Angrosino (2016), this is the method by which the spontaneous behavior of respondents and participants can be identified with the help of naturalistic observation. Things that can never be manipulated are easily observed via the naturalistic observation process. It allows better flexibility to collect data, which is not usually useful in laboratory settings. The naturalistic setting helps to generate new ideas by observing things in a natural environment.
In the sociological and anthropological study, participants' observations are widely used. This is the process by which researchers enter into a group of participants having a shared identity for understanding the characteristics of the entire community (Shah, 2017). Participant observation provides better interaction of researchers with the research respondents. It is evident in the applied research assignmentthat behavior and norms can be effectively observed with the help of participants observed that helps to collect more relevant data. A huge number of skills are required by researchers to understand the behavior and norms of participants in a group. This is a time-saving process that helps to collect vast numbers of data within a very short period of time.
Structured observations are also known as systematic observation, where the researchers collect data without direct interaction with participants. As reported by Jorgensen (2020) in the applied research assignment, well defined and procedural manners are followed in this type of data collection method where the data are relevant and accurate. Predefined rules and procedures are followed to collect data from relevant respondents. Pre Recorded questionnaires are used to collect data that make the data collection method more useful and relevant (Jorgensen et al. 2018). In addition to this, observation biases are not present in this type of data collection method. Researchers do not need to acquire huge numbers of skills for this type of data collection method.
As per the investigation conducted on the applied research assignment, this is a crucial type of research in which data is extracted from archival sources. Data is extracted to make information that can support the research process. As opined by Ventresca and Mohr (2017), preloaded data in the archive format are used for the collection of data for the research process. The archive is generally held by organizations, libraries, and museums. The research is generally compared with secondary researchers, where the resources are collected from secondary sources of data. The primary advantage of this type of data collection is that researchers don't need to depend upon the various sources. The data is already loaded and saves researchers time (Ciesielskaet al. 2018). In the longitudinal studies, data are really beneficial, where it also has some limits. It is not always ready to provide answers to all researchers' questions developed in the research study.
Minimization of observer bias
The information used to prepare this applied research assignmentillustrates that observation bias refers to the tendency to expect results that researchers want to see. As mentioned by Mahtaniet al.(2018), observation bias can manipulate the data and provide misleading outcomes. For this reason, it is necessary to reduce observation bias. There are two most important ways provided in the present context of applied research assignment by which observation bias can be minimized; these are as follows:
As noted in the applied research assignment, observers have to be skilled and trained to understand the impact of observation bias. They have to be trained in order to play the dual role of both insiders and outsiders. Screening for the potential bias of the observer is another important aspect to minimize the observation bias. Playing a dual role for both insider and outsider helps to identify the accurate data that is bias-free (Ichikawa et al. 2017). Playing an insider role means that researchers have to decide the event occurring from the side of participants. On the side, observation has to be matched with the perspective of participants participating in the research study. As an outsider, the observer must see the event from the perspective of a value-free frame of mind. This observer has to focus on events both outside as well as inside the area. They have to be neutral to the judgment as well as have to be bias-free to manipulate the data as per their personal interest (Researchgate.net, 2020). A dual perspective can help to bolster the reliability of data collected from the observation process. Thus, as stated in the applied research assignment, it is necessary for observers to have a non-judgmental eye to collect bias-free data.
Monitoring of observers objectivity:
Objectivity is paramount that determines the capabilities of the observer to interpret the data that are collected from the observation process. In the case of ethnographic study, observers spend more time upon the collection of data that might hamper their interest in collecting the actual data. They want random data that might not be free. The applied research assignmentconsideres the readings of Mahtaniet al. (2018) that in this aspect, it is needed to observe the activity and objectivity of the observer to see the behavior and events in the observation process. Especially in the ethnographic study requires continuous monitoring that can help to identify data bis. Some standard sets of judgment are required before the development of perception regarding the data collected from participants. A standard set of control can help to regulate activities of observers as well as help to identify the biases(Researchgate.net, 2020). This is also necessary to control the groundless interjections in the data collection process that can affect honesty as well as reliability of data. Observers acting skill is another important way to identify the perspective of participants in the data collection process. Management of different personalities is necessary to minimize the incidence of data bias.
Bias is the big disadvantage of the observation process that can hamper the effectiveness of the observation process of the collection of data. As opined by Ichikawa et al. (2017), the accuracy of data, as well as the authenticity, can be broken down due to the observation bias. For this reason as outlined in the present section of applied research assignment, it is necessary to mitigate the observation bias to access area and accurate data from the observation process.
Evaluation of the ethics
The concept of research ethics considered in the applied research assignment defines the ethical principles used in a research observation process. The primary purpose of research ethics is to manage all ethical policies to protect participants. Concealed research is a process where the observer remains hidden from the subject of the research process. As observed by Fiesler and Proferes (2018), ethical issues greatly vary in this type of research process where the perception of the research process is necessary. Research ethics are closely related to social responsibility as well as ethical principles. Research ethics is basically associated with Governing the way by which a scientific or concealed research process can be carried out. It is clear in the applied research assignmentthat ethical principles must be followed in the research process in order to secure the interest of participants in the research (Battiste, 2016). Guidelines setting the research process regarding ethics help to achieve credibility in the research process. Authenticity and error-free research Method can be established with the help of research ethics and ethical principles conducted to evaluate the interest of participants. Ethical principles followed in the research process are mentioned below within the applied research assignment:
Managing risk for harm:
Research associated with the concealed princess is not expected to harm the participants both physically and mentally. As mentioned by Ryen (2016), social disadvantage and psychological distress are common forms of harm that might affect the interest of participants towards the research process. Setting up of codes and ethical principles are necessary for the research process to safeguard the participants physically, socially, and psychologically. Research processes are intended not to harm the financial aspect of researchers regarding the situation that can make participants fall in an uncomfortable situation.
Collection of consent:
The research on applied research assignmentmentions that this is the primary ethics that can be marinated by researchers during the collection of data. Firstly the consent that is of interest to participants must be collected (Cascio and Racine, 2018). Whether they are interested in joining in the research process or not, after the collection of consent, it is the next step noted herein applied research assignment to invite them to provide data regarding the research subject. Informed consents are necessary for the collection of data from participants. Informed consent means that participants understand they are taking part in the research process and what the research needs from them. Volunteers are another important term associated with the participants taking part without the deceived and coerced.
Confidentiality and anonymity:
These are the most important forms of research ethics, where the data provided by the participants are stated to be protected against misuse. Researchers have to focus on the collection of relevant information from participants. As stated by Fiesler and Proferes (2018), participants are not expected to ask any type of sensitive information related to their personal life. In addition to this point noted in the applied research assignment, researchers have to focus on maintaining the privacy of all participants that are associated with the research process. Permission must be taken from participants if it is required to disclose confidential information (Ryen, 2016). In addition to this, personal data and information that will not be disclosed other than research purpose. Confidentiality must be maintained during the data collection as well as gathering of data into the database system.
Avoiding deceptive practices:
On the first hand, deceptive practices fly in the face of informed consent. After this, the way participants came to know the way they are taking part in the research process. In addition to this, deceptive practices are necessary some time to understand the interest and demand of participants in the research process. According to Cascio and Racine (2018), it is stated in the applied research assignment that sometimes, participants have no interest in being a part of the research process. Incentives are given to them to provide research-related data. As a result of this, bias can occur that hinders the effectiveness of the research process. Thus it is not also necessary to let anyone know about the research process that participants are taking.
Right for withdrawal:
The concealed observation process is necessary to maintain the ethics of withdrawal. The investigation on applied research assignment clarifies that it is necessary for the researchers to provide basic freedom to participants to withdraw their interest from the research process (Battiste, 2016). Participants have to be given consent and ethics form that has to be provided the basic right of participants to withdraw their role in the research process when they are not feasible. Participants are not expected to be pressured and forced to provide data when they have no more interest in the research process.
Online survey questionnaire
Advancement of technology has helped to collect data within a very short period of time. It is not always possible for researchers to collect data via face to face interviews or field surveys. As stated by Lessicket al. (2016), it is provided in the applied research assignment that with the aid of technological advancement, it has become possible to gather data from respondents via online surveys questionnaire. There are different forms of applications present that help researchers to carry out online surveys. Google Forms, Client Heartbeat, Zoho Survey, and Survey monkey are the most common form of tools used for the online survey questionnaire to collect research related data from relevant respondents.
An online survey is a structured questionnaire generally intended to collect research-related data. Technology has helped to save time and energy for both researchers and participants (Toepoel, 2017). In the online survey process, a set of questionnaires are sent to the participants, and they are given a specific time within which responses have to be met. Online surveys make it possible for researchers to collect data where face to face surveys are not possible. According to Brosnan, et al.(2019), via the survey tool, online survey questionnaires are made and distributed to participants within a very short time frame. This type of survey technique noted herein applied research assignmenthelps researchers to save their time and cost to collect data from responders. All these aspects become possible with the aid of the advancement of technology.
There are basically six standard steps for conducting an online survey via the development of an online questionnaire. The steps involved in the mechanism of the online survey are as follows:
In the initial stage of the online survey princess as provided in this applied research assignment, research goals are set based on which participants are selected. As stated by Chyunget al. (2017), based on the needs, research goals are developed, and objectives of the research are established.
Creation of list of question:
In this stage, questionnaires are developed based on the predetermined goal of research. In addition to this, there are vast numbers of questionnaires available in online survey tools like a close-ended question, open-ended question, table form of a question, and MCQ. Using a suitable form, research questionnaires are developed to collect research-related data.
Herein applied research assignment, this is the next step in the mechanism of anime survey and questionnaire for data collection (Rouletet al. 2017). Participants are invited via online software like Face book or by direct contrast to taking part in an online process of the survey.
Collection of response:
In this stage, relevant data are collected from the respondents by providing them with a suitable form of a questionnaire. Responses are then collected by analyzing the responses in the filled questionnaire.
Analysis of data:
This is the next stage after data collection that helps to make ultimate information. As stated by Brosnanet al. (2019), with the help of graph and chart data can be analyzed that are provided by participants. With the help of an online survey, data can be gathered automatically that provides ease of analysis.
This is the last stage discussed in the context of applied research assignment where analyzed data are used to make results and develop new ideas in the research area (Toepoel, 2017). Writing up the report regarding information development via the data collection is necessary to generalize the information worldwide.
There are various advantages of administering online survey questionnaires. These are mentioned in the below section of applied research assignment:
Online survey techniques are more convenient when compared to field surveys. As mentioned by Jones (2017), this type of online survey provides the opportunity to survey participants to start the survey and stop the survey as per their availability and presence.
Online surveys provide flexibility for researchers to collect data from respondents. There are several forms of preloaded options present in survey question designing software (Chyunget al. 2017). With the help of the most suitable one, researchers can collect data.
Online surveys provide autonomy to both researchers as well as participants to provide research-related data. As mentioned by Brosnanet al. (2019), once confidentiality is assured, and then participants become active in providing the data without any fear of being insecure about losing their personal information.
Online survey questionnaires are reliable, as well as cost-effective. Nontraditional forms of paper are required here to develop an online survey questionnaire (Jones, 2017). The administrative cost can be saved as there is no requirement of pens or printers for creating options for participants.
Online survey reduces the time to collect data while compared to field survey need to collect consent in the field. Online feedback management systems make it possible for researchers to seek answers to participants as well as reduce the effort to sort the most relevant data.
As the questionnaire present in preloaded form; thus, it reduces the chance of misinterpretation of data. According to Ichikawa et al. (2017), data is more accurate as it can be accessed at any time as per the interest of researchers.
Along with advantages, there is also some sort of disadvantages present for online surveys. These are as follows:
Respondents may not be 100% truthful, and they may provide misleading answers that can affect the authenticity of the research process (Sokolova and Titova, 2018).
It is not possible in online surveys to identify the responses that are actually true or false. Sometimes participants unconsciously provide wrong answers that affect the efficiency of the research process.
Lack of personalization:
Sometimes respondents skip the answer if they are really unaware. According to Jones (2017), as a result of this survey becomes incomplete and affects the success factor of the data collection process.
As mentioned in the applied research assignment, it is not possible via the online survey to collect content and convey respondents to provide authentication and real data (Brosnanet al. 2019).
If the survey is long and confusing, then it is an indicator of false surveys carried out by some party pretending as researchers.
A survey is the set of questionnaires against which participants are expected to respond. As stated by Krosnick (2018), the wording in the survey and questionnaire design refers to the way options and languages are set for the participants in the questionnaire. There are basic principles of wording in the designing of questionnaires. The principles are mentioned in the below section of applied research assignment:
Simple wording is necessary during the development of the questionnaire. Complex terms and language can differ the answer and affect the understanding of the participants (Toepoel, 2017). Thus clarity is the primary principle of wording during the designing of questionnaires.
This is another important principle mentioned in the applied research assignment that defines the simple and most common language that is used so that it can be easily understood by participants. As observed by the words have to be clear also that it can make participants interested to readily tick the answers.
Avoiding the suggestive question is the big principle that affects the success of the questionnaire design and survey process (Beatty et al. 2019). It is necessary not to provide an unbalanced answer option that might make the respondents extremely confused.
It is a necessary principle of wording to avoid the complex option and language. Odd and inappropriate wording can affect the success of the survey process to collect data.
This is the most important and common form of wording principle in which easy options are given to respondents to reduce the cognitive burden of participants (Moser and Kalton, 2017).
Clues given in the initial phase of data collection via the survey method can decrease the concentration of respondents towards other options. Thus, basis the discussion on applied research assignment, it is necessary to provide answers in a randomized manner so that participants can pick the most suitable one among the most confusing one.
What is the importance of principles in designing of questionnaire discussed in the applied research assignment?
An effective wording diluting the development of questionnaires provides success to researchers regarding the data collection process. As stated by Silber et al. (2018),it is noted in this applied research assignmentthat simple wording helps participants easily understand the exact answers needed to give against the research question. In addition to this, validity is another importance of effective and concise wording in the designing of questionnaires for the survey process. The wording is necessary because different words can generate different users and affect the effectiveness of questionnaire design as well as a collection of authentic data. Survey questions consisting of commonly evoked consent are more acceptable by participants when compared to the complex one (Moser and Kalton, 2017). Reliability is another importance of an effective wording process in the designing of questionnaires. The credibility of research strongly depends upon the data collection princess in which wording is the most important player. The wording is also necessary to improve the designing of questionnaires and the achievement of success in the data collection process.
A different source of data affects the validity and reliability of measurement
There are various techniques available for the collection of data from relevant sources. Multiple methods of data collection and multiple sources of data affect the reliability and validity of data measurement techniques. As stated by Geuens and De Pelsmacker (2017), it is stated in the applied research assignment, multimethodology uses more than one research process with the collection of data from more than one source. Data generally have the two most important sources named primary source and secondary sources. In the multiple methods of data collection, more than one technique is used to collect data from respondents. Multiple sources of data affect the reliability as well as the validity of data measurement in the research process (Kamariet al. 2019). Along with the primary and secondary data, the integration of quantitative and qualitative data can be effective in providing data validity and measurement accuracy. The integration of qualitative and quantitative data can help to replace their limitations with each other. Both quantifiable and no quantifiable data have a better opportunity to be reliable and valid when compared to a single method. Thus, the multi-method of data collection is effective in suppressing the negative points of each data collection method by application of positive slides.
Multi-Method consists of both the secondary and primary sources of data. Primary data are generally collective via direct interview and survey process. As stated by Toepoel (2017), it is stated in the applied research assignmentthat the primary source of data affects the reliability of measurement by providing first hand and accurate data. There is no chance of misrepresentation of data by respondents, and it is said to be reliable for use in further research processes. On the other hand, primary data have a high level of control that defines its validity for future use (Brosnanet al. 2019). Up to date information is gathered from the primary sources of data that are more accurate, reliable, and valid. First-hand data provides an opportunity for researchers to become the owner of data as they are collected for the first time. The validity of measurement can be affected by the method of collection of data. In the case of primary data, they have better quality as well as readiness; thus, they are more valid when compared to secondary data.
On the other hand, it is clear in the applied research assignment that secondary data are less expensive and easily accessible. Secondary data helps to save money for researchers. As mentioned by Hu et al. (2018), inappropriateness is the most common limitation of secondary resources of data. There is also a lack of control over the secondary source of data. It also aids the direction by which researchers can collect primary sources of data. The data is fast and can easily be collected from various sources. On the other hand, secondary data might not be accurate as researchers have to depend upon the data. Combining both the primary and secondary source of data constitutes a multi-method of collection of data (Henaoand Franco, 2016). Multi-method helps to eradicate all the issues and limitations in the collection of data from various sources. It can be said in the applied research assignment that multiple sources of data have a direct relation with the measurement of data validity as well as reliability of data. Multiple methods can help to replace the limitations of each other and help to provide validity to the data measurement method. Data from multiple sources are able to replace their limitations by each other and provide better reliability of measurement.
Each and every method of research used for the collection of data has data bias. Data bias is a big limitation of each and every data collection method. According toKamariet al. (2019), it is stated in the applied research assignment that multi-method is the best way to reduce the data bias during the collection of data from respondents. They are resorting to the multi-method of collection of data used to compound the data bias. There are various controversies over the statement. Some researchers think that multi-method is the best way to resolve data bias, while others think that data bias is more frequent in the multiple methods of data collection (Hu et al. 2018). Accurate data cannot be easily found from only one single source. Thus multiple sources are required for the collection of data that are bias-free. By taking multiple methods, it becomes easy to make sure that those sources come from places on all sides of issues. On the other hand, some researchers argued that if a single method is used, it will be better to make data organized and used for the research study. In general, it can be said in the applied research assignment that multi-method consists of combining more than one research technique. As observed by Henao and Franco (2016), combining more than one research technique is better in one hand to mitigate the limitation of each and individual research method. On the other hand, biases are common for all types of research processes; in this respect combining more than one process would be effective in reducing the bias.
Each and every single method constitutes a different form of bias. Combining each and every method can either decrease or increase the data bias (Ichikawa et al. 2017). In modern study, it has been identified in this applied research assignment that combining different forms of research methods can result in compound forms of biases. Though combining different forms of qualitative and quantitative methods helps to analyze data more accurately, but it also gives rise to the development of data bias (Mahtaniet al. 2018). A combination of each and every data collection method raises built-in biases. Thus, the overall count for the built-in biases increases in the case of multi-method approaches. With the rise in complexity, there is also an increase in the complexity of the data bias. For example, it can be said that qualitative data provide some biases, while quantitative and experimental data may manipulate the information based on the interest and predetermined prediction of the researchers. In this aspect of applied research assignment, complexity, along with the data bias, is increased. As stated by Brosnanet al. (2019), the complex method also needs vast time to collect data and interpret responses. In this aspect, researchers focus on the manipulation of data based on their interests. As a result of this, the complexity of biases increases. Though combining both the qualitative and quantitative method helps researchers to establish better information, it also increases the number of discrepancies (Geuensand De Pelsmacker, 2017). In addition to this, the tangibility of research techniques decreases with the aid of a multi-method approach. The chance of biases becomes more frequent when researchers focus on a multi-method approach. For this reason, it can be criticized that multi-method compounded large biases when compared to a single method of research. ?
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