Scrutinizing Data Collection
Methods
Professor Lisa High
University of Windsor
Existing Data vs. New Data
First data collection decision:
- Use existing data
- New data gathered
- How will the researcher generate data?
Methods of Collection
Historical research
Secondary analysis
Records
Data Collection Methods
When existing data is not available
Developing a data collection plan = 3 types of
approaches used most frequently:
Self-reports
(2) Observation
(3) Physiologic measures
(1)
Dimensions of Data Collection
Methods
Four Dimensions:
(1)
Structure
(2)
Quantifiability
(3)
Obtrusiveness
(4)
Objectivity
Self-report Methods
Direct questioning
Unstructured Reports:
- Completely unstructured interviews
- Focused or semi-structured interviews
- Focus group interviews
- Life histories
- Diaries
Self-report Methods
Structured self-report - formal means of collection
– written document = instrument
Instrument is the “interview schedule” or
“questionnaire” ( face to face or telephone)
QUESTION FORMS:
(a) Closed-ended questions or fixed alternative
- dichotomous, multiple choice, cafeteria, rank order
and forced question
(a) Open-ended questions
Instrument Construction
Outline of the instrument’s content
Monitor for: wording, clarity, sensitivity of the
respondent’s psychological state, freedom from bias,
and reading level
Draft instruments
- Critically reviewed
- Pre-test/pilot -tested
Borrowed or adapted from other instruments
Interviews vs. Questionnaires
Questionnaires
less costly
-
Interviews
face-to-face interviews =
good response rates
Less time and effort to
administer
-
Feasible for most people
-
Complete anonymity
-
Questions less likely to be
misinterpreted
-
Absence of interviewer = no
biases
-
can produce additional
information through
observation
-
Scales & special Forms of
Structured Self-Reports
Social-psychological scales
- response bias (social desirability, extreme response,
acquiescence response)
- Counterbalancing?
Vignettes
Projective techniques
Q-sorts
Evaluation of Self-Report
Methods
Strengths:
Behaviors can be observed
Yields more information
Most commonly used in nursing
Weakness:
Validity and accuracy
Social desirability
Unstructured = time consuming and demanding
Critiquing Self-Reports
What to look for:
- Degree of structure
- Interview or questions uses
- Composite scale administered
- How instruments administered
- Response rate
Observational Methods
Alternative to self-reports
Broad applicability
Researcher flexibility to several dimensions:
Focus of the observation
(2) Concealment
(3) Duration of observation
(4) Method of recording observations
(1)
Unstructured Observational
Methods
Permits the researcher to see the world as the study
participants
To develop a rich understanding and appreciation of
the phenomena
Extract meaning form events and situations
Grasp the subtleties of cultural variation
What is participant observation?
Gathering Unstructured
Observational Data
Consider the following:
The physical setting – where questions
(b) The participants – who questions
(c) Activities – what questions
(d) Frequency and duration – when questions
(e) Process – how questions
(f) Outcomes – why questions
(a)
Positioning Approaches
(1)
Single Positioning
(2)
Multiple Positioning
(3)
Mobile Positioning
Recording Unstructured
Observational Data
Log
Field notes
Observational notes
Theoretical notes
Methodologic notes
Personal notes
Structured Observational
Methods
Differs from unstructured observational
-
-
Advance preparation
Accurate categorizing, recording and encoding the
observation and sampling
Checklist
Rating scales
Observational sampling includes:
(a) Time sampling
(b) Event sampling
Evaluation of Observation
Methods
Have an intrinsic appeal to capture
Suited for people who are unable to describe
their own behaviors
Provides in-depth and diverse information
Humans are used as the measuring
instruments
Shortcomings – ethical difficulties, reactivity,
observational bias
Unstructured – yield richer data
Biophysiologic Measures
Use of biophysiologic and physical variables
(1)
(2)
(3)
(4)
(5)
Five classes:
Basic biophysiologic processes
Nursing actions = outcomes
Evaluation of specific nursing procedures/interventions
Evaluate & improve the measurement & recording of
biophysiologic information
Antecedents and consequences of biophysiologic
indicators = possible treatment modes
Types of Biophysiologic Measures
Includes: “in vivo measures” or “in vitro measures”
IN vivo measures – performed directly within or on
living organisms
IN vivo instruments – to measure all bodily functions
and technological advances
IN vitro measures – data gathered from participants
extracting some biophysiological material from them
In vitro measures – chemical, microbiologic, cytologic
and histologic means
Types of Biophysiologic Measures
Evaluation of Biophysiologic Measures:
-
Accurate and precise
Measures are objective
Valid measures of the targeted variables
Cost usually low or nonexistent
Disadvantages:
-
measuring tool may affect the variable
Normally interferences that create artifacts
Energy must be applied – avoid damaging cells
Critiquing Biophysiologic
Measures
Critiquing Biophysiologic Measures:
- most important consideration – the appropriateness
of the measures for the research question
Review:
- Box 11-4 – p. 293 – 1st edition
- Box 13.5 – p. 308 – 2nd edition
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Scrutinizing Data Collection Mehtods