Data Collection in Quantitative Research

Chapter 14 Data Collection in Quantitative Research

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1

Question #1

Tell whether the following statement is true or false:

For unstructured data, researchers use formal data collection instruments that place constraints on those collecting data and those providing them.

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Answer to Question #1

False

For structured data, not unstructured data, researchers use formal data collection instruments that place constraints on those collecting data and those providing them.

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Developing a Data Collection Plan

Identifying data needs

Selecting types of measures

Selecting and developing instruments

Pretesting the data collection package

Developing data collection forms and procedures

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4

Early Steps in Data Collection Plan

Identification and prioritization of data needs

Measures of variables

Selection of existing instruments

Conceptual stability

Data quality

Cost

Population appropriateness

Reputation

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Question #2

Tell whether the following statement is true or false:

Open-ended questions permit respondents to reply in narrative fashion.

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Answer to Question #2

True

Open-ended questions permit respondents to reply in narrative fashion, whereas closed-ended (or fixed-alternative) questions offer response alternatives from which respondents must choose.

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Structured Self-Report Instruments

Interview schedules

Questionnaires

Open-ended questions

Closed-ended questions

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Open- and Closed-Ended Questions

Open-ended questions allow people to respond in their own words, in narrative fashion

Questionnaires/interviews

Closed-ended answers may range from a simple yes or no to complex expressions of opinion or behavior

Dichotomous

Multiple choice

Rank order

Forced choice

Rating

Checklists

Visual analog scales

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Question #3

Which type of closed-ended questions have several questions with the same response format?

Forced choice

Rating

Checklist

Visual analog scale

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Answer to Question #3

C

Forced-choice questions require respondents to choose between two competing positions; rating questions ask respondents to make judgments along a bipolar dimension; checklists have several questions with the same response format; and visual analog scales (VASs) are continually used to measure subjective experiences.

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Composite Scales and Other Structured Self-Reports

Likert scale

Summated rating scale

Series of statements about a phenomenon

Indicate degree of agreement or disagreement

Total score is computed by summing item scores, each of which is scored for the intensity and direction of favorability

Cognitive and neuropsychological tests

Intelligence

Aptitude

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Other Types of Structured Self-Reports: Semantic Differentials

Bipolar rating scales

Indicate reactions toward a phenomenon

Measure

Evaluative

Activity

Potency

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Other Types of Structured Self-Reports: Q Sort

Sort a set of card statements into piles

Specified criteria

Measure

Attitude

Personality

Psychological traits

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Other Types of Structured Self-Reports: Vignettes

Brief descriptions of the event

Asked to react to events

Assess respondents’

Perceptions

Hypothetical behaviors

Decisions

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Question #4

Tell whether the following statement is true or false:

Interviews are less costly and time-consuming than questionnaires.

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Answer to Question #4

False

Questionnaires are less costly and time-consuming than interviews.

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Questionnaires Vs. Interviews #1

Questionnaires

Less costly

Possibility of anonymity

No risk of interviewer bias

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Questionnaires Vs. Interviews #2

Interviews

Higher response rate

Wider variety of people

Clarity

Depth of questioning

Less missing information

More supplementary data

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Designing Structured Self-Reports

Response set biases

Common responses

Social desirability

Extreme response

Acquiescence

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Methods of Recording Structured Observations: Checklists

Occurrence or frequency

Category systems

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Methods of Recording Structured Observations: Rating Scales

Rate phenomena

Dimension typically bipolar

Made at specific intervals or after observations are complete

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Sampling for Structured Observation: Sampling

Time sampling involves the specification of the duration and frequency of observational periods and intersession intervals.

Event sampling selects integral behaviors or events of a special type for observation.

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Evaluation of Structured Observation: Biases

Halo effect

Assimilatory biases

Errors of leniency

Errors of severity

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Biomarkers

Selecting

In vivo

In vitro

Considerations

Necessary equipment available?

Difficult to secure permission?

Will a single measure of outcome be sufficient?

Will measures be influenced by reactivity?

Are safety precautions familiar?

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Biomarkers: Evaluation

Advantages

Accurate/precise/objective

Valid measures of variables

Disadvantages

Cost

Measuring tools affect variables

Biomarkers may be damaged

Varying lab protocols

Biased norm values

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Physical Performance Tests

Patients’ abilities and skills are sometimes measured with performance tests.

6-mile walk test

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Data Extracted From Records

Needed

Trained abstractors

Abstractors blinded to the study

Explicated records inclusion and exclusion criteria

Defined variables of interest

Unambiguous guidelines

Clear-cut rules

Frequent accuracy checks

Verification by random sampling

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Implementing a Data Collection Plan

Considerations to keep in mind when selecting research personnel

Experience

Congruency

Appearance

Personality

Training

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