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    Data Collection Techniques

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    I am supposed to prepare a written proposal outlining 2-3 data collection techniques and compare and contrast the limitations of each technique. I am not sure where to begin, so I am looking for a summary less than 300 words for any help.

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    Interesting question! Let's take a closer look.


    Let's look at three data collection techniques (e.g. observations, interviewing and questionable) in terms of description and advantages and disadvantages of each, which you can consider for your final copy. This response is drawn from one source, which is reference at the end.

    1. Observing

    Observation is a technique that involves systematically selecting, watching and recording behaviour and characteristics of living beings, objects or phenomena. Observation of human behaviour is a much-used data collection technique. In participant observation, for example, the observer takes part in the situation he or she observes e.g. a doctor hospitalized with a broken hip, who now observes hospital procedures 'from within'. On the other hand, in non-participant observation, the observer watches the situation, openly or concealed, but does not participate. Observations can be open (e.g., 'shadowing' a health worker with his/her permission during routine activities) or concealed (e.g., 'mystery clients' trying to obtain antibiotics without medical prescription). They may also serve different purposes. For example, observations can give additional, more accurate information on behavior of people than interviews or questionnaires. Or, they can also check on the information collected through interviews especially on sensitive topics such as alcohol or drug use, or stigmatizing diseases. For example, whether community members share drinks or food with patients suffering from feared diseases (leprosy, TB, AIDS) are essential observations in a study on stigma.

    Observations of human behaviour can be used in any type of study, but as they are time consuming they are most often used in ...

    Solution Summary

    This solution discusses several data collection techniques and then compares and contrasts the strengths and limitations of each technique.