Primary and Secondary data - A2 Clinical Psychology

This is a fact sheet which I created on primary and secondary data.

I designed this for myself so I may have not expanded on some points or they may not make sense to others, but I hope it helps! :)

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Describe what is meant by primary and
secondary data in doing research
Primary Data
Original data which has been collected by those who witnessed an event firsthand or
who collected the data themselves for a specific purpose
It presents original thinking or new information
Examples of primary data include results from questionnaires or experiments, which
can either be quantitative or qualitative.
The data can be sets of statistics which is input into a computer programme to
construct frequency distributions or other descriptive statistics
It is a reliable source because the researcher can replicate the procedures to check
the results because they know the procedures and how the data was collected and
The data will likely be more uptodate. Using data which was gathered years
previously is less likely to provide reliable answers to the questions which the data
needs to address
Because primary data is taken directly from the population, it is one of the best types
of data to collect for research methods like surveys.
Researchers may be subjective in which kind of data they look for, e.g data which fits
the hypothesis they are trying to test
Because the data has been gathered from scratch, it involves finding a large enough
sample to make the results credible and generalizable and gain a large volume of
data. This makes it more costly and time consuming than collecting secondary data
Secondary Data
This is second hand analysis of preexisting data. It may be analysed in a different
way or be used to answer a different question from that which is addressed in the
original research
Secondary data analysis uses data which was collected by someone else in order to
further a study which they are interested in completing
It usually interprets, analyses, evaluates, explains or comments on a primary source
or event. After statistical operations have been performed on primary data, the results
become known as secondary data
In some cases, secondary data is gathered before primary data in order to find out
what is already known about a subject before embarking on a new investigation

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Gathering secondary data saves time and expense which would otherwise be spent
collecting data
It can provide a larger database than an individual researcher would hope to collect
In some cases, secondary data is often the only resource and therefore the only way
to examine large scale trends of the past, e.…read more


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