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Quantitative Research. March 8. Quiz Assignments Experimental Research Quantitative Research Emotional Intelligence Survey Validity, Reliability, Error Characteristics of Surveys. Laboratory Experiments Artificial – low realism Few extraneous variables High control Low cost

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March 8 l.jpg
March 8

  • Quiz

  • Assignments

  • Experimental Research

  • Quantitative Research

  • Emotional Intelligence Survey

  • Validity, Reliability, Error

  • Characteristics of Surveys

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Laboratory Experiments

Artificial – low realism

Few extraneous variables

High control

Low cost

Short Duration

Subjects aware of participation

Field Experiments

Natural – high realism

Many extraneous variables

Low control

High cost

Long Duration

Subjects unaware of participation

Experimental Research

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Quantitative Research

  • Emotional Intelligence Survey


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  • Extent to which a measurement instrument actually measures the attribute it was intended to measure.

  • Validity can be examined from a number of different perspectives, including:

    • Face, content, criterion-related, and construct validity

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Assessing Validity

Face validity Researchers judge the degree to which a measurement

instrument seems to measure what it is supposed to.

Content validity The degree to which the instrument items represent

the universe of the concept under study.

Criterion-related The degree to which a measurement instrument can

validity predict a variable that is designated a criterion.

(a) Predictive ability; (b) Concurrent validity

Construct validity The degree to which a measure confirm a hypothesis

created from a theory based upon the concepts under


(a) Convergent validity; (b) Discriminate validity

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  • Reliability

    • Degree to which measures are free from random error and, therefore, provide consistent data.

  • There are three ways to assess reliability

    • Test-retest, equivalent forms, and internal consistency

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Assessing the Reliability of a Measurement Instrument

Test-retest reliability: Use the same instrument a second time under

as nearly the same conditions as possible.

Equivalent form reliability: Use two instruments that are as similar as

possible to measure the same object during the

same time period.

Internal consistency reliability: Compare different samples of items being

used to measure a phenomenon during the

same time period.

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Reliability and Validity Situations in Measurement

Situation 1

Situation 2

Situation 3
































Neither reliable nor Valid

Highly reliable but not valid

Highly reliable and valid

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Types of Error in Survey Research

  • Random Sampling Error (Random error)

    • Error that results from chance variation

    • Impact can be decreased by increasing sample size and through statistical estimation (confidence interval) or “rule of thumb”

  • Systematic Error (non sampling error)

    • Error that results for the research design or execution.

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Types of Systematic Error

1. Administrative Error

  • Error that results from improper execution.

  • Data Processing Error

    • Quality of data depends on quality of data entry.

    • Use of verification procedures can minimize

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    • Sample Selection Error

      • Systematic error resulting from improper sampling techniques either in design or execution.

    • Interviewer Error

      • Data recorded incorrectly (error or selective perception).

    • Interviewer Cheating

      • Mitigate by random checks

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    2. Respondent Error

    • Humans interviewing humans...

  • Non-response error

    • Statistical difference between a survey that includes only those who responded and a survey that also includes those who failed to respond.

    • Non-respondent: person not contacted or who refuses to participate

    • Self selection bias: extreme positions represented

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    • Response bias

      • Errors that result from tendency to answer in “a certain direction”.

      • Conscious or unconscious misrepresentation

    • Types:

      • 1. Deliberate falsification (why?)

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    • Reasons for unconscious misrepresentation:

      • Question format

      • Question content

      • Misunderstanding of question leading to biased answer

      • Lack of time to consider answer fully

      • Communication or semantic confusion

      • other

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    Types of response bias

    • Acquiescence bias: individuals have a tendency to agree or disagree with all questions or to indicate a positive/negative connotation

    • Extremity bias: results for response styles varying from person to person; some people tend to use extremes when responding to questions

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    Types of response bias continued...

    • Interviewer bias: Bias in the responses of the subject due to the influence of the interviewer

    • Auspices bias: respondents being influenced by the organization conducting the study

    • Social desirability bias: caused by respondents’ desire, either consciously or unconsciously to gain prestige or to appear in a different social role

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    The Concept of Measurement and Measurement Scales

    • Measurement

      • Process of assigning numbers or labels to things in accordance with specific rules to represent quantities or qualities of attributes.

      • Rule: A guide, method, or command that tells a researcher what to do.

        • Scale: A set of symbols or numbers constructed to be assigned by a rule to the individuals (or their behaviors or attitudes) to whom the scale is applied.

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    Types of Measurement Scales

    • Nominal Scales

      • Scales that partition data into mutually exclusive and collectively exhaustive categories.

    • Ordinal Scales

      • Nominal scales that can order data.

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    • Interval Scales

      • Ordinal scales with equal intervals between points to show relative amounts; may include an arbitrary zero point.

    • Ratio Scales

      • Interval scales with a meaningful zero point so that magnitudes can be compared arithmetically.

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    1 length

    2 lengths


    40 to 1 long-shot pays $40

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    Survey data

    • Survey data are obtained when individuals respond to questions asked by interviewers or when the individual responds to questions that he has read

    • Quantitative and qualitative information

    • Census or sample?

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    Survey Sampling

    • Sample Survey

      • Sample of the population (e.g., sample of Alberta CEOs)

    • Census Survey

      • Complete population (e.g., all CEOs in Lethbridge)

    Functions l.jpg

    • Descriptive

    • Causal (limited function)

    • Exploratory (limited function)

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    Information Provided by Surveys

    • respondent’s knowledge of facts

      • how many times a month do you buy cookies?

    • respondent’s attitudes

      • “chocolate chip is my favorite variety of cookie.”

    • May describe processes undertaken by respondent

      • Stages in the purchase decision, for example

    • usually self-report data

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    Classifications objectives.

    • Method of Communication

      • Telephone

      • Mail

      • Personal interview

    • Degree of Structure

      • Unstructured

      • structured

    • Degree of Disguise


    Structure and disguise

    are not clear categories;

    most surveys are hybrids

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    • Temporal classifications objectives.

      • Cross sectional studies

      • Longitudinal studies

        • Trend Studies

          • Samples general population at each point; complete turnover in who is actually sampled

        • Cohort studies (tracking studies)

          • Samples from one group over time; e.g., sample of a graduating class

        • Panel studies

          • sample cohort, same specific respondents each sample

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    Method of Communication objectives.

    • Media

    • Personal Interviews

    • Telephone Interviews

    • Self administered Questionnaires

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    Questionnaire design objectives.

    A survey is only as good as the questions it asks

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    What should you ask? objectives.

    • The questions asked are a function of previous decisions

    • The questions asked are a function of future decisions (such as statistical analysis)

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    Key criteria objectives.

    • Questionnaire relevancy

      • No unnecessary information is collected and only information needed to solve the problem is obtained. Be specific about your data needs; tie each question to an objective

    • Questionnaire accuracy

      • Information is both reliable and valid

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    Phrasing Questions objectives.

    • Open ended response versus fixed alternative questions


    • Decision criteria: type of research; time; method of delivery; budget; concerns regarding researcher bias

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    Avoid objectives.

    • Leading questions

    • Overly complex questions

    • Use of jargon

    • Loaded questions (can use a counterbiasing statement)

    • Ambiguity

    • Double barreled questions

    • Making assumptions

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    Order? objectives.

    • Order bias results from an alternative answer’s position in a set of answers or from the sequencing of questions

      • Funneling technique: general to specific helps understand the frame of reference first

    • Anchoring effect: the first concept measured tends to become a comparison point from which subsequent evaluations are made

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    Types of questions objectives.

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    Types of fixed alternative questions… objectives.

    • Single dichotomy or dichotomous-alternative questions

    • “Are you currently registered in a course at the University of Lethbridge?

    • Yes____ No____”

      • Respondent chooses one of two alternatives (yes/no; male/female)

      • What scale would this data create?

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    Types of fixed alternative questions… objectives.

    • Multi-choice alternative

      • Respondent chooses from several alternatives

      • Many types…

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    Multi-choice alternative questions… objectives.

    • Determinant choice

      • Choose only one from several possible responses

        “Which faculty are you currently registered in at the University of Lethbridge?

        Management ___

        Education ____


        Health sciences____

        Combined degree____

        • What type of scale would these data create?

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    • Frequency determination objectives.

      • Asks for an answer about frequency of occurrence

        In a typical week, how often do you purchase chocolate chip cookies?


        __ once

        __ 2 or more times

        What type of scale would these data create?

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    • Check list objectives.

      • Provide multiple answers to a single question

      • Should be mutually exclusive and exhaustive

        “What brands of chocolate chip cookies have you, to the best of your memory, purchased in the past month (check all that apply?)”

        __ Dare

        __ Chips A’hoy

        __ Presidents Choice Decadent etc. etc.

        • What type of scale would these data create?

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    Unidimensional Scaling objectives.

    Multidimensional Scaling

    Procedures designed to measure several dimensions of a respondent or object

    Procedures designed to measure only one attribute of a respondent or object

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    • Attitude rating scales objectives.


      An enduring disposition to consistently respond to various aspect of the world, including persons, events and objects

      Typically seen as having three components:

      • Cognitive

      • Affective

      • Behavioural

    Cognitive l.jpg
    Cognitive objectives.

    • Knowledge and beliefs

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    Behavioral objectives.

    • Predisposition to action

    • Intentions

    • Behavioral expectations

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    Attitude measuring process objectives.

    • Ranking

    • Rating

    • Sorting

    • Choice

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    Types of attitude scales objectives.

    • Simple attitude scales

    • Most basic form – respondent responds to a single question

    • Do not allow for fine distinctions or placement on continua

      • You are at a company party and are feeling nervous, but you are obligated to be there. Do you:

        __ find someone you know to buddy up with

        __ take it as an opportunity to meet new people

        What type of scale would these data create?

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    • Category scales objectives.

      • More sensitive; provides more information

      • Overall, how satisfied are you with the high speed performance of your Mercedes:

        __ very satisfied

        __ somewhat satisfied

        __ neither satisfied nor dissatisfied

        __ somewhat dissatisfied

        __ very dissatisfied

        If you could choose, how long would each term be?

        ___26 weeks __ 13 weeks __ 6 weeks ___4 weeks

        What type of scale would these data create?

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    • Summated rating scales – the Likert scale objectives.

      • Respondents indicate their attitudes by checking how strongly they agree or disagree with statements

      • Chocolate chip cookies are my preferred variety of cookie

        Strongly disagree Disagree Uncertain Agree Strongly Agree

        (1) (2) (3) (4) (5)

        What type of scale would these data create?

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    • Semantic Differential Rating scale objectives.

      • An attitude measure consisting of a series of seven-point bipolar rating scales allowing response to a “concept”

        Think of your favorite type of cookie. Rate it on each of the following continua:


        Lots of chips---------------------------------------Fewer chips


        What type of scale would these data create?

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    • Numerical Rating scale objectives.

      • Similar to a semantic differential except that it uses numbers as response options to identify response positions instead of verbal descriptions

        Think of your favorite type of cookie. Rate it on each of the following continua:


        8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

        This scale is called an 8 point numerical scale, why?

        What type of scale would these data create?

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    • Constant Sum Scales objectives.

      • Attributes based on their importance to the person. Respondents are asked to divide a constant sum to indicate the relative importance of attributes

        Example: Suppose the photocopy budget per professor was $100 per month. How much should be allocated to the following. Divide the $100 according to your preference:

        ____ photocopying for student needs;

        ____ photocopying for research needs;

        ____ photocopying for committee needs.


        $100 TOTAL

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    • Stapel Scales objectives.

      • An attitude measure that places a single adjective in the center of an even-number range of numerical values


        Research Methodology








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    • Graphic Rating Scales objectives.

      • An attitude measure consisting of a graphic continuum that allows respondents to rate an object by choosing any point on the continuum

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    • Rank-Order Scales objectives.

      • Scales in which the respondent compares one item with another or a group of items against each other and ranks them.

        Example: handout

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    Most important skills objectives.

    • Adaptability to change

    • Problem identification

    • Listening skills

    • Written communication

    • Leadership

    • Informal Oral communication

    • Analytical thinking/problem solving

    • Time management

    • Coping with stress/job pressures

    • Interpersonal relations

    • Formal oral presentations

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    Most important skills objectives.

    Business grads


    8 9

    6 6

    1 1

    2 4

    4 2

    3 3

    5 5

    7 10

    11 7

    9 8

    10 11

    Adaptability to change

    Problem identification

    Listening skills

    Written communication


    Informal Oral communication

    Analytical thinking/problem solving

    Time management

    Coping with stress/job pressures

    Interpersonal relations

    Formal oral presentations

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    • Paired Comparison Scales objectives.

      • Respondent is presented with two objects and is asked to pick the preferred.

        Example: Which type of cookie do you prefer

        __ chocolate chip

        __ oatmeal

        __ I do not have a preference between these two

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    • Sorting objectives.

      • Respondent indicates their attitudes or beliefs by arranging items.

        Example: Please sort the following cards with pictures of cookies into the following categories



        Neither like nor dislike