Types of data

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  • Types of data
    • Primary, secondary data and meta analysis
      • Primary: 'first hand' data collected for the purpose of the investigation
        • S: fits the job: study designed to extract the data needed so info is directly relevant
        • L: requires time and effort: design may involve planning and preparation which is time consuming
      • Secondary: taken from journals, books, governmental websites etc
        • S: inexpensive: information you desire already exists
        • L: quality may be poor: info could be outdated or incomplete which challenges validity
      • Meta analysis: type of secondary data that combines data from many studies
        • S: increased validity of conclusions: evidential sample is much bigger than individual samples which increases generalisation
        • L: publication bias: researcher may not select relevant studies so data may be incorrect
    • Measures of central tendency
      • Mean: add and divide
        • S: sensitive: overall impression of the average
        • L: unrepresentative: a large or a small number on one side that is largely different may distort figures
      • Median: the middle value
        • S; unaffected by extreme results: more representative
        • L: Less sensitive than the mean: extreme values may be important and they aren't counted in this value
      • Mode: most common value
        • S: relevant to categorical data: when data is discrete (represented in categories) so mode is needed
        • L: overly simple: there can be many modes in a set data and this does not provide an accurate representation
    • Measures of dispersion
      • Range: difference between
        • S: easy to calculate: arrange values in order and then subtract smallest from largest
        • L: does account for distribution of scores: does say whether scores were closely grouped around the mean or not
      • Standard deviation: measure of the average spread around the mean (larger=more spread out data)
        • S: more precise than the range: includes all values in calculation and provides more accurate representation
        • L: misleading: may hide characteristics from data     values may not be releveled)


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