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Variables and Methods for Collecting Data
Data collection is regarded as a fundamental aspect of any research. When the data collected during the research is inaccurate, consequently, the results of the study will be invalid. Before organizing and recording data that may be of diverse forms, an individual should pay attention to the kind of information one is collecting. After that, an individual should thoroughly consider what method to choose. Except for the methods, a variable, which is viewed as an indicator of success, is also an indispensable constituent of any research. Therefore, this essay analyzes two types of the variables and two groups of the methods such as quantitative and qualitative ways of collecting information.
A variable may be of two kinds: independent and dependent. An independent variable in research is also known as the intervention. Either researcher or community implements this condition to observe whether it causes changes and improvements. This variable might be a system, a method, a program, or any other action. A dependent variable is what changes under the influence of the independent variable or intervention. It means that an independent constant determines the value of the dependent one. It might be an outcome, groups behavior, or any other condition. For instance, a program of smoking cessation is an independent variable that is going to modify the behavior of the smoker, which is seen as the primary dependent variable. Read more research on this and other topics on the best writing services
The quantitative collection methods usually produce the results that are easy to compare, summarize, and generalize. As far as quantitative research deals with testing various hypotheses, it includes such researching strategies as experiments or clinical trials, observation and recording some events, and polls with closed-ended questions. One of the examples of recording an event is counting the patients that wait in an emergency at a particular time and day. The efficient subtypes of the surveys are interviews and questionnaires.
The interviews are divided into face-to-face, telephone, and computer-assisted personal interviews. Face-to-face interviews bring enormous benefits in researching. This method enables the researchers to maintain eye contact with the participants and, therefore, achieve their cooperation. In addition, the researcher has an opportunity to clarify some ambiguous answers. Although this method has the highest rate of responses, it is considered impractical because some samples may be expensive or time-consuming. In its turn, telephone interviews are much cheaper and require less time, and they do not bring so many answers as the previous type. Computer assisted personal interviewing is a kind of the surveys that allows entering the answers directly into the database.
Regarding questionnaires, there are paper-pencil and web-based ways to question the participants. The paper-pencil questionnaires are usually sent to a big amount of people. While responding, the individuals tend to be more truthful because their answers are anonymous. However, as a rule, people do not return the questionnaires due to the lack of time or desire. The web-based type of the research is much quicker because the participants usually receive a questionnaire via e-mail. Nevertheless, it does not guarantee the accuracy of the responses.
Qualitative information collection methods are applied to refine the quality of the quantitative results. They usually strengthen, expand, and clarify the findings obtained in the process of quantitative types of the research. These methods are open-ended, and their protocols are less structured. Moreover, the researchers have to interview the respondents several times and always examine the reliability of the information. Most commonly, in-depth interview, observation methods, and document reviews are used in the evaluation.
To conclude, every research relies on the data collection. The quantitative methods include interviews and questionnaires that are very efficient and usually give the researchers the reliable data. On the contrary, qualitative ways of collecting information tend to clarify the findings of the interviewing or questioning. Another important part of the research is a variable that may be dependent and independent. Therefore, before conducting research, an individual should analyze all the processes and choose the appropriate method.