HLTB15 WINTER 2013
LECTURE # 8 – RESEARCH TOOLS
What are the THREE main methods of DATA COLLECTION?
What are examples of PRIMARY DATA?
o Observation, Interviews, Questionnaires
What are examples of SECONDARY DATA?
o Government Publications, Censuses, Client Histories, Service Records,
Earlier Research, etc.
What influences which method is chosen to collect primary data?
o Purpose and nature of study/investigation
o Resources Available
o Researcher skills
o Geographical distribution of the study population
o Type of study population.
What determines quality of data?
o SES features of study population
o Interest of the study population in the research
o Attitude towards participating
o Purpose and relevance of the study
What is OBSERVATION?
o The act of observing something or someone carefully in order to gain
information and notice
In what situations, OBSERVATION the best approach?
o When you are interested in BEHAVIOURS instead of PERCEPTIONS
o Participants are UNABLE to provide OBJECTIVE information
What is a PARTICIPANT OBSERVATION?
o Researcher participates in the activities of a group with or without
What is a NON-PARTICIPANT OBSERVATION?
o Researcher does not get involved in the activities of the group, passive
observer, draws conclusion
o Proper method to study occupational groups
What are the DISADVANTAGES of OBSERVATION?
o Behavior Changes
o Hawthorne Effect
o Observer Bias
o Interpretations drawn may vary
o Possibility of incomplete observation and/or recording
What is the HAWTHRONE effect? HLTB15 WINTER 2013
o When people improve or modify their behavior just because they are
aware they are being studied
What is the OBSERVER BIAS?
o Is a form of reactivity where the researcher’s cognitive biases causes
them to unconsciously influence the participants in the experiment
What are the TWO types of OBSERVATION conditions?
What is the NATURAL type of OBSERVATION?
o Natural – Observation without intervention
What is the CONTROLLED type of OBSERVATION?
o Controlled – Observation with intervention
How are OBSERVATION studies RECORDED?
o What does NARRATIVE refer to? Researcher records a description of
o What does SCALES refer to? Participant records responses on a scale
which can be one, bi or tridirectional
o What does CATEGORICAL RECORDING refer to? Type and number
depends on the type of interaction and the observer’s choice but it can
take the form of categories like always, sometimes never, etc.
o RECORDING on Mechanical Devices
What are the DISADVANTAGES of using SCALE or CATEGORICAL
o It does not provide INDEPTH information
o There are errors of central tendency in terms of mean, median and
What is the ELEVATION EFFECT?
o Elevation Effect – A person’s personality, depending on their
optimism or pessimism may be more inclined to indicate on one side
of a scale or another. (In a survey about UTSC, Cheerful Mary may be
more inclined to write everything as 5 when in actuality things may
not be like because she makes the best of every situation. (Can go
What is the HALO EFFECT?
o Halo Effect: When you already have a preconceived notion about
something or someone (including yourself) being good, you are more
inclined to think of them in that way even if you see evidence of
something contrary to that.
o For example, Hassan has always been an upstanding guy (he
volunteers, donates, etc.) but you see him cheat on an exam. You still
see him in a positive manner, even when you see him do other bad
things, because you have a biased positive view of him since he is your
good friend and you have had a positive impression of him for such a
What are the ADVANTAGES of R