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Issues with Data Collection and Survey Responses

1. If you collect your own personal interview data, you assure yourself of consistency (i.e., if you want things done right, do it yourself). Practicality dictates that you will often need help to collect substantial data in the field, but this brings with it some glaring problems. Suppose a study involved going into high schools, observing student behavior in the cafeteria and interviewing a diverse group of students from each school. What are some of the problems you could foresee and what would you do to prevent them?

2. Is it ever okay to just toss a survey response, even if nothing is missing from it? If so, under what circumstances would it be justified? Please give specific examples if that helps.

3. In going over survey responses, you discovered that about 10% of them had unanswered questions. Some of the missing responses were demographic (e.g., not disclosing one's age) while others were key variables (e.g, not answering the "likelihood to return" question). How should this situation be handled?

Solution Preview

1. One foreseeable problem with this form of data collection, may involve the present health condition of the interviewers (including myself), due to the fact that illness or fatigue could make it quite possible that the interviewing process would be of a lesser quality, due to the omission of asking certain pertinent questions, due to fatigue etc. This problem could be remedied by ensuring that the interviewing/data collection process does not take place until all data collectors are well rested and in reasonably good physical condition. Another problem that could occur with this process could be the ...

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