Discuss sources of bias for both quantitative and qualitative research.
Assignment: Sources of Bias
Week 2 discussion DQ1 Discuss sources of bias for both quantitative and qualitative research. For quantitative research, be sure to address both random and systematic bias. You may use examples from the articles you selected as illustrations of bias and/or preventing bias. DQ2 Researchers often identify the research problem and then go in search of a theory. Discuss the disadvantages of doing this. What does the textbook recommend that researchers do to assure a true fit between theory and designing the study?
Common sources of bias
One of the main problems with scientific studies is that bias (the conscious or unconscious influencing of the study and its results) can make them less dependable. bias can occur in a number of different ways and it is important for researchers to be aware of these and find ways to minimize bias. There are a great number of ways that bias can occur, these are a few common examples:
When survey respondents are asked to answer questions about things that happened to them in the past, the researchers have to rely on the respondents’ memories of the past. Sometimes different types of events are more likely to be remembered than others, causing respondents to report those types of experiences more readily. This creates a form of bias called recall bias.
Research samples can sometimes under-represent certain people or groups, and over–represent others. This is called sample selection bias. The best way to select people for research is using the basis of chance, in other words, so that everyone in the population being investigated has an equal chance of being selected. This is called randomisation, because people are randomly selected to take part in the study.
Observation bias (also known as the Hawthorne Effect)
Observation bias occurs when participants in a study are aware that they are being observed by scientists and, either consciously or unconsciously, alter the way they act or the answers they give.
Confirmation bias is a type of bias that may occur during the interpretation of study data when researchers, consciously or unconsciously, look for information or patterns in their data that confirm the ideas or opinions that they already hold.
Studies with negative findings (i.e. trials in which no significant results are found) are less likely to be submitted by scientists or published by scientific journals because they are perceived as less interesting. These ‘negative’ results are as important for understanding a scientific topic as significant results are but they are less likely to be published. This can skew our understanding of a topic because, for example, when carrying out a review or a meta-analysis on a new drug treatment, if this type of data is missing, it can make it seem like a drug is more or less effective than it actually is. This is called publishing bias.
You must proofread your paper. But do not strictly rely on your computer’s spell-checker and grammar-checker; failure to do so indicates a lack of effort on your part and you can expect your grade to suffer accordingly. Papers with numerous misspelled words and grammatical mistakes will be penalized. Read over your paper – in silence and then aloud – before handing it in and make corrections as necessary. Often it is advantageous to have a friend proofread your paper for obvious errors. Handwritten corrections are preferable to uncorrected mistakes.
Use a standard 10 to 12 point (10 to 12 characters per inch) typeface. Smaller or compressed type and papers with small margins or single-spacing are hard to read. It is better to let your essay run over the recommended number of pages than to try to compress it into fewer pages.
Likewise, large type, large margins, large indentations, triple-spacing, increased leading (space between lines), increased kerning (space between letters), and any other such attempts at “padding” to increase the length of a paper are unacceptable, wasteful of trees, and will not fool your professor.
The paper must be neatly formatted, double-spaced with a one-inch margin on the top, bottom, and sides of each page. When submitting hard copy, be sure to use white paper and print out using dark ink. If it is hard to read your essay, it will also be hard to follow your argument.
ADDITIONAL INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE CLASS
Discussion Questions (DQ)
Initial responses to the DQ should address all components of the questions asked, include a minimum of one scholarly source, and be at least 250 words.
Successful responses are substantive (i.e., add something new to the discussion, engage others in the discussion, well-developed idea) and include at least one scholarly source.
One or two sentence responses, simple statements of agreement or “good post,” and responses that are off-topic will not count as substantive. Substantive responses should be at least 150 words.
I encourage you to incorporate the readings from the week (as applicable) into your responses.
Your initial responses to the mandatory DQ do not count toward participation and are graded separately.
In addition to the DQ responses, you must post at least one reply to peers (or me) on three separate days, for a total of three replies.
Participation posts do not require a scholarly source/citation (unless you cite someone else’s work).
Part of your weekly participation includes viewing the weekly announcement and attesting to watching it in the comments. These announcements are made to ensure you understand everything that is due during the week.
APA Format and Writing Quality
Familiarize yourself with APA format and practice using it correctly. It is used for most writing assignments for your degree. Visit the Writing Center in the Student Success Center, under the Resources tab in LoudCloud for APA paper templates, citation examples, tips, etc. Points will be deducted for poor use of APA format or absence of APA format (if required).
Cite all sources of information! When in doubt, cite the source. Paraphrasing also requires a citation.
I highly recommend using the APA Publication Manual, 6th edition.
Use of Direct Quotes
I discourage overutilization of direct quotes in DQs and assignments at the Masters’ level and deduct points accordingly.
As Masters’ level students, it is important that you be able to critically analyze and interpret information from journal articles and other resources. Simply restating someone else’s words does not demonstrate an understanding of the content or critical analysis of the content.
It is best to paraphrase content and cite your source.
For assignments that need to be submitted to LopesWrite, please be sure you have received your report and Similarity Index (SI) percentage BEFORE you do a “final submit” to me.
Once you have received your report, please review it. This report will show you grammatical, punctuation, and spelling errors that can easily be fixed. Take the extra few minutes to review instead of getting counted off for these mistakes.
Review your similarities. Did you forget to cite something? Did you not paraphrase well enough? Is your paper made up of someone else’s thoughts more than your own?
Visit the Writing Center in the Student Success Center, under the Resources tab in LoudCloud for tips on improving your paper and SI score.
The university’s policy on late assignments is 10% penalty PER DAY LATE. This also applies to late DQ replies.
Please communicate with me if you anticipate having to submit an assignment late. I am happy to be flexible, with advance notice. We may be able to work out an extension based on extenuating circumstances.
If you do not communicate with me before submitting an assignment late, the GCU late policy will be in effect.
I do not accept assignments that are two or more weeks late unless we have worked out an extension.
As per policy, no assignments are accepted after the last day of class. Any assignment submitted after midnight on the last day of class will not be accepted for grading.
Communication is so very important. There are multiple ways to communicate with me:
Questions to Instructor Forum: This is a great place to ask course content or assignment questions. If you have a question, there is a good chance one of your peers does as well. This is a public forum for the class.
Individual Forum: This is a private forum to ask me questions or send me messages. This will be checked at least once every 24 hours.