Part 1 Summarize what you used to think research methods was at the beginning of the course and think about how your ideas about research methods have changed as a result of what you have learned in this course. Be sure to explain how you have evolved to this new understanding of what research methods is and how it applies to your discipline. Part 2 Watch the video on ethical data collection (Links to an external site.) and read the following about Henrietta Lacks: Henrietta’s Dance (Links to an external site.)Review of Rebecca Skloot, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (Links to an external site.)Taking the Least of You (Links to an external site.) ACTIVITY INSTRUCTIONS First, let’s start with a question based on your opinion. Consider this: “Most Americans have their tissue on file somewhere. In 1999 the RAND Corporation published a report that more than 307 million tissue samples from more than 178 million people were stored in the United States. This number, the report said, was increasing by more than 20 million samples each year. These samples come from routine medical tests, operations, clinical trials and research donations.” (See the New York Times article) What do you think the repercussions would be if scientists were required to inform and get consent? Would restricting this impede scientific advancements and perhaps harm the public good? After reading and viewing the materials on Henrietta Lacks, answer the following questions: At the time of the incident (prior to the Belmont Report), was there an ethical breach in the medical care that Henrietta Lacks received? Was there an ethical breach by the researchers who received Henrietta Lacks cells? If this happened today: What kind of “harm” may have been done to Henrietta or her family by the researchers (intentionally or unintentionally)? Is there an ethical consequence for the Lacks family that we should be concerned about? Identify other examples, beyond those in the video, of how data is being collected and used and the potential ethical standards that may be violated. How do you recommend that these situations are handled? Part 3 Sampling Techniques There are two overarching types of sampling, probability and nonprobability sampling. The most commonly used sampling techniques, which were discussed in your text, include random sampling, stratified random sampling and cluster sampling. These three sampling techniques are grouped under probability sampling because all members of the identified population have an equal chance of being selected for the sample. Convenience and quota sampling fall under the nonprobability sampling type because all members of the identified population do not have an equal chance of being selected for participation in the sample. Once you have identified your sample, you need to know how you are going to collect data from them. FIELD NOTES Each note should be composed of four parts: NotesDescription of everything observed or that can be rememberedAnalysisReflection ACTIVITY INSTRUCTIONS Find studies from your discipline that demonstrate each type of sampling technique. What technique was applied?Was it a representative sample? Why or why not?Cite your studies. Part 4 Please see attachment and also instructions below FIELD NOTES Each note should be composed of four parts: NotesDescription of everything observed or that can be rememberedAnalysisReflection ACTIVITY INSTRUCTIONS As you go through this week in your day-to-day life, find a couple of research articles and critique the following section of the article: Methods Who participated in the study? Are there enough details provided for you to be able to identify a similar sample if you were to replicate the study?Who was the target population, and do the samples/participants reflect the target population? Based on the information provided, will the author(s) be able to generalize to the target population?What was the procedure for selecting the sample? Is there a bias in the selection of the participants based on the sampling technique used?Where was the data collected and how? Part 5 Throughout the first two modules of this course, you have been completing the various sections of your research proposal using the Processfolio. By now you should have a clearly identified topic, research question, independent and dependent variables, a review of the literature, and an appropriate hypothesis based on the literature. For your third and final Processfolio, you will describe your sample and appropriate sampling method. While working on this Processfolio, be sure to take into consideration responsible ethical research procedures. Even though you will not actually conduct your study, you need to propose a study that is meeting the ethical standards and guidelines we have been discussing throughout the course. ACTIVITY INSTRUCTIONS Submit your completed Processfolio #3 for this activity. Include: Sampling description.Data collection procedures.Describe how you would ensure reliability and validity.Discuss how you would communicate your findings.Detail how you would obtain informed consent and debriefing (if applicable). Part 6 (a) Please see attachment and instructions below for (a) For this assignment, you will need to develop a short survey using the best practices covered. If your research proposal includes survey administration for your data collection method and you have not found a survey/questionnaire that has been previously developed and validated by researchers in the field, then you are encouraged to develop a survey that will measure your dependent variable (you will need to include this in the appendix of your research proposal). If your data collection method does not include a survey, then you should select a topic for which you can develop a short survey. Also see Hands-On Guide to Questionnaire Research. ASSIGNMENT INSTRUCTIONS Create your survey and submit in the dropbox. After the due date for the assignment passes, you will be assigned one of your classmates surveys, for which you will a peer review. To complete your assigned peer review, follow the directions outlined in the video below. You may also use the attached “Peer Review in Canvas Student Guide” to complete and view feedback. Part 6 (b) Think about the different data collection strategies covered in this module. Are any of the data collection strategies commonly used in your field?Identify a data collection strategy that is not commonly used in your field. Discuss either why it is not a good fit or make a brief case as to why professionals in your field should start using it. How might you be able to use what you learned in this module in your life, personally and/or professionally?PSY 305 M3.4 Data Collection
Data collection is the process by which a researcher goes about collecting information to answer a
research question and test a hypothesis.
Data Collection Methods
There are two categories of data collection methods, primary and secondary data collection.
Data that has already been compiled for a different purpose is secondary data. Some common examples
of secondary data include, census data, birth registries, educational testing results, etc. Secondary
data is usually found in well-known databases such as, Uniform Crime Reports, National Incident-Based
Reporting System, National Center for Education Statistics, and National Institute of Health to name a
few. Research conducted using secondary data can help provide a better understanding of social
issues, since a researcher can obtain access to a greater quantity of data for a given population than
they would likely have access to if they tried to collect the data on their own.
Primary data collection is when the researcher actively collects the data herself.
There are different types of data that you will come across, whether you are collecting your own data or
using pre-existing data.
Qualitative and Quantitative Data
There are two different types of data, qualitative and quantitative. Qualitative data is non-numerical and
quantitative data is numerical. Another way to remember the difference between the two types of data
is in their names. For example, QUALIT-ative you are describing QUALIT-ies. Whereas with QUANTITative data you are measuring QUANTIT-y.
Qualitative and Quantitative
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Collecting Data
Qualitative data can be more time consuming to collect, depending on the means by which you collect
it. For example, open-ended responses on a survey are a type of qualitative data that can vary in the
amount of time it takes for the participant to respond. However, this does take less time for the
researcher to collect because s/he is not writing the response for all the individuals to whom the survey
is administered.
In comparison, collecting data via observation or interview takes more time for the researcher, since
s/he is more actively involved in the data collection process. Other means of collecting qualitative data
include focus groups, checklists, and case studies.
Quantitative data collection tends to be less time intensive to collect in comparison to qualitative data
collection strategies. This data is typically gathered using an instrument, such as a questionnaire or
survey with rating scales or a blood pressure cuff. With the use of instruments, quantitative data tends
to be a more objective means of data collection in comparison to qualitative data.
What must a researcher consider when collecting data based on the different types of measures?
Self-report measures commonly use surveys to collect data, since they tend to be a cost effective and
efficient for collecting information or perceptions from a larger number of people. However, the way a
survey is constructed is very important as this can impact the reliability and validity of the data being
As noted in the previous module, using tests to measure a variable(s) is common. There are many
different types of tests, some of which you must be trained in order to administer (e.g., achievement
tests) or need some sort of requisite knowledge.
A particular test could be cost prohibitive for your study. You must also consider how the test is
administered; for example, can it be given to a group of individuals who simply need a quiet
environment to respond to the items/questions, or must the test be given one-on-one? If the latter, it
will require more time and resources to collect your data.
The advantage to using widely known and commonly used tests is that they tend to be valid measures of
the intended variable they were constructed to measure.
Behavioral measures involve the careful observation and recording of a behavior. Sometimes behavioral
measures are referred to as observational measures because you are observing what your participant(s)
is doing. Anything that you can observe your participant doing (e.g., how many people stop when the
traffic light turns yellow) is considered to be a behavioral measure. You can directly observe (watch the
participant in action) or indirectly observe (record and watch the participant’s actions later) participants.
Researchers typically either count or classify behaviors.
Classifying behaviors is a coding system where the observer will determine in which category a behavior
belongs. A good example of this would be when an observer is classifying interactions in a classroom
setting, such as student-to-student, student-to-teacher, or no interaction.
When participants know they are being observed, they may change their behavior. This is known as
reactivity, and this is where indirect means of data collection may be more beneficial.
Lastly, if you have more than one observer, you run the risk of introducing more error into the data
collection process because others may not interpret the behavior(s) the same way or consistently. When
you have more than one observer, it is very important to spend time training them to help reduce this
error. This is called interrater reliability.
Physical measures typically involve the use of equipment; in the previous module, we used the example
of an EKG, and a less sophisticated example would be the use of a thermometer to measure
temperature. In comparison to behavioral measures, physical measures are more objective, as long
as the equipment is in proper working order and the individual using the equipment is trained in how to
do so properly.
Error is more common in the interpretation of the data.
The most important thing for you to remember is that how you collect your data will vary depending on
the research method being used, and your research method is dependent on how you phrase your
research question.
PSY 305 M3.6 Developing a Survey
Simple, Clear, Specific
The best survey questions are written:
• Simply (i.e., using vocabulary/language that is easily understood);
• Clearly (i.e., what is being asked is clear); and
• Specifically (i.e., for the intended audience and intended response).
What’s wrong with the following question?
How long have you attended college?
The answer is that it is not specific enough.
Respondents may provide the length of time they attended college in years, months, terms,
semesters, etc. If the researchers wanted the participants to provide how many years they
attended college and they got a wide array of responses (i.e., months, terms, semesters, etc.),
they have inadvertently introduced error into their data collection.
As a researcher, you would have to decide whether you would include the responses that were
not provided in the “years” format. You may be able to convert the months to years, but you
may not be able to convert “terms” or “semesters” to years, especially since different
institutions can define them differently (e.g., one institution may define a semester as 15
weeks, and another institution may define it as 16 weeks).
As you can see from this simple example, you must be very careful in wording your survey
questions to ensure that you get the information you are looking for in the format you need
Types of Survey Questions
Open-ended questions allow participants to come up with their own responses. Whether you
administer your survey via paper or online, you can typically indicate the length of the expected
response by the amount of room you provide. For example, on a paper survey, if you expect the
response to be short, you may only provide a line or two, versus a longer response, for which
you would include numerous lines for written text.
Some things to consider before using open-ended questions:
• Data analysis is more time consuming because you have to read through each response and
code it. We will talk more about this when we get to the data analysis piece.

You may not get the information for which you are looking. This can and likely will
happen, even if you write your open-ended question simply, clearly, and specifically.
Because you are giving the participants freedom to choose how they are going to
respond, you run the risk of eliciting responses that are not necessarily relevant.
Partially open-ended questions are much more similar to closed-ended questions than they are to openended questions, despite the name.
Similar to a closed-ended question, the partially open-ended questions will list options for participants
to choose from and they will list a last option “other” and leave room there for the participants to fill in
what the “other” option is that they are selecting.
Closed-ended questions ask participants to select from a limited number of responses (e.g., yes or no).
As a researcher, you have to be sure to provide all possible answers or responses to your question.
Likert Scale. The use of a rating scale is common – for example, “Please rate your level of
agreement with the following statements.” This type of rating scale is called a Likert rating scale
because you present participants with statements rather than questions and ask them to rate
the statements.
There are many different types of Likert rating scales that you can use, including agreement,
frequency, importance, quality, etc. Here is a website that provides additional information on
Likert rating scales and examples of commonly used Likert rating scales on surveys:
Likert Scale Definition, Examples, and Analysis
Closed-ended questions are much easier to analyze, and most of the time you will obtain
responses from the participants in the format needed. Using online survey tools helps to ensure that
you get the responses in the format you want, but if you administer the survey via paper
and pencil, then participants may write in a midway response or an option that was not given
(e.g., if you provide a rating scale from 1-5 and a participant gives you a 2.5 because they could not
definitively select between 2 and 3 on the scale).
Partially open-ended questions are much more similar to closed-ended questions than they are
to open-ended questions, despite the name. Similar to closed-ended questions, partially
open-ended questions will list options for participants to choose from, and they will list a last
option, “other,” and leave room there for the participants to fill in what the “other” option is
that they are selecting. Below is an example of what a partially open-ended question looks like.
During the Summer Olympics, I most enjoy watching:
o Archery
o Swimming
o Track and Field
o Other (please specify): ___________________
As indicated in previous examples, it is very important that your questions are phrased clearly to avoid
misleading the respondents. There are three common types of misleading questions, including loaded
questions, leading questions, and double-barreled questions.

Loaded questions are questions that are emotionally charged or utilize nonneutral terminology.
These types of questions tend to make assumptions about the respondents. This website has
more information and examples of loaded questions (

A leading question alludes to a desired answer. This type of question will prompt the
respondent to answer in a certain way. For example, “How much did you enjoy your stay at the
hotel?” The word “enjoy” makes that question nonneutral and tells the respondent what the
administrator of the survey wants to hear (i.e., that you enjoyed your stay at the hotel).
Lastly, double-barreled questions ask respondents more than one thing. For example, “How
satisfied are you with the product and customer service?” This question is asking two things, the
first being your satisfaction with the product and the second being your satisfaction with the
customer service. However, respondents can only select one response (e.g., unsatisfied). This
will impact your analysis because you do not know if the respondent was unsatisfied with the
product, the customer service, or both.
When developing a survey, not only is it important to word the questions carefully, but it is also
important to consider the order in which they will be presented.
Best practice states that questions should first be grouped by topic. For example, the course evaluation
survey you are asked to respond to toward the end of this course groups and presents all the faculty
related questions together and does the same thing for the other topic areas covered.
Within each topic or construct area, you should group question types together, such as presenting all
the Likert-type faculty questions together and then presenting the open-ended faculty-related
questions. Another best practice is to place sensitive questions at the end of the survey. Doing this
makes the respondents more likely to answer because they have already invested time in
completing most of the survey.
Lastly, it is recommended that all demographic related questions be asked last. This is not
because demographic questions are not important. On the contrary, many researchers find
demographic questions to be very important to their research. It is recommended to put these
questions last because many respondents find these questions boring, so if they are at the
beginning of the survey, you are more likely to have individuals choose not to participate,
whereas if demographic questions are placed at the end, respondents are more likely to
complete the survey because they have already invested their time and energy into completing
the majority of it. In some situations, the researcher may already have access to demographic
information for the respondents, so the researcher should not include demographic questions
at all.

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