Lecture 8

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Published on 23 Mar 2011
School
UTSC
Department
Health Studies
Course
HLTB15H3
Lecture 8 Research Tools
Main methods of data collection
Observation
Interviewing
Questionnaires
Methods of data collection
1) Secondary Data
2) Primary Data
Which method should be used to collect primary data?
Purpose of the study and the nature of the investigation
Resources available
Researcher skills
Geographical distribution of the study population
Type of study population (SES, physical ability)
Determinant of the quality of data:
-Socioeconomic-demographic characteristics of the study population
-Interest of the study population in the research
-Attitude towards participation
-Purpose of the study
-Relevance of the study
OBSERVATION
Interaction in a group
-Study of dietary patterns
-Behaviours or personality traits
-Observation is the best approach
1) Interested in behaviour rather than in perceptions
2) Participants are unable to provide objective information
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Types of Observation
Participant observation
-Researcher participates in the activities of a group, with or without their knowing
Example:
-Examine the reactions of the general population towards people in
wheelchairs
-Examine the mental health of imprisonment
Non-participant observation
-Researcher does not get involved in the activities of the group; passive observer,
draws conclusions
Example:
-Study the functions carried out by nurses in a hospital
-Proper method to study occupational groups
Disadvantages
Behaviour changes
E.g. Nurses may resort to carrying
out more functions
-Hawthorne Effect
Observer bias
Interpretations drawn may vary
Possibility of incomplete
observation and / or recording
Conditions of Observations
Natural
Controlled
How are observation studies recorded?
1. Narrative
Researcher records a description of the interaction
Collins D. Narrative Communication About Health Risks of Uranium
Mining study examined the public health narratives about the siting of
a uranium mine
Craig expresses the uncertainty when he explains that, We dont know whats goi
ng to happen. We can monitor the water, but you cant see the radon gas. Luann
adds, were watering our garden, taking a showerand our cattle are out there a
nd our pigseverything. Out farm is worth zero now (Long, September 23, 2006)
....Luann explains that we have children and grandchildren, and we couldnt tak
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e the risk no matter how safe they try to convince us that this would be (Conger, N
ovember 17, 2006). Vic Casas also demonstrates the connection between water con
tamination risks and the value of generational land when explaining, That land
was passed on from my father to me, and Ill pass it on to my children. And Im s
ure itll go to their children and so on if it stays in the family and were concerned
about the water (Bedsole,November 22, 2006).
2. Scales
Rated on scale
Scale can be 1, 2, or 3 directional
3. Categorical Recording
Type and number depends on the type of interaction and the observers choice
Example:
-Passive vs active
-Always / sometimes / never...
-Strongly agree / agree / uncertain / disagree / strongly disagree
Disadvantages of using scale / categorical recording:
-Does not provide in-depth information
-Error of central tendency
-Elevation effect
-Halo effect
4. Recording on Mechanical Devices
Analysis follows
Advantages:
-View or listen a number of times
-Objectivity - other professionals can be invited to view the tape or listen
Disadvantages:
-Feelings or discomfort
-Different behaviour exhibited
INTERVIEWING
Very common
Flexibility range
-Unstructured interviews
-Flexible in terms of
structure, contents, and
questions
- Structured interviews
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Document Summary

Methods of data collection: secondary data, primary data. Which method should be used to collect primary data: purpose of the study and the nature of the investigation, resources available, researcher skills, geographical distribution of the study population, type of study population (ses, physical ability) Interest of the study population in the research. 1: participants are unable to provide objective information. Interested in behaviour rather than in perceptions www. notesolution. com. Researcher participates in the activities of a group, with or without their knowing. Examine the reactions of the general population towards people in wheelchairs. Examine the mental health of imprisonment: non-participant observation. Researcher does not get involved in the activities of the group; passive observer, draws conclusions. Study the functions carried out by nurses in a hospital. Nurses may resort to carrying out more functions. Hawthorne effect: observer bias, possibility of incomplete. Interpretations drawn may vary observation and / or recording.