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Time sampling as a method of collecting observational data

Strengths Weaknesses

1. Reduces the number of observations by 1. Observations may not be representative
using an objective means of sampling because important aspects may be
which allows for a clearer focus during missed as they could happen outside the

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Observational techniques in general

Strengths Weaknesses

1. What people say they do is often 1. Observers may `see' what they expect
different from what they actually do so to see. Their presence influences the
observations give a different take on participants behaviour and they are not
behaviour. behaving normally (observer…

Page 3

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Strengths Weaknesses

1. Easier to analyse the data and 1. May not permit people to express their
respondents have only a limited range of precise feelings.
responses to choose from. 2. Social desirability bias

Opportunity sample

Strengths Weaknesses

1. Quick and easy to select the sample as 1. May be…

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Rating scales

Strengths Weaknesses

1. Enables respondents to represent 1. Respondents may avoid using ends
thoughts and feelings quantitatively of the scales and go for the middle
because they are rating their responses. of the road thus answers do not
2. They can give us an idea about how represent…

Page 5

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2. Can access information that may not be the spot which gives scope for them to
revealed by predetermined questions. ask leading questions.
3. Can use body language to confirm verbal 2. Requires well-trained interviews, which
responses. makes it more expensive to produce
reliable interviews when compared to
structured interviews.…

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2. Allows researchers to investigate areas 2. May be subject to bias if the participants
that would otherwise be unavailable to know that they are being studied.
them. 3. Impossible to replicate exactly
3. If subjects are aware of being studied
there will be little bias from demand


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Matched Pairs Design

Strengths Weaknesses

1. Participants only have to be tested once 1. A lengthy and time consuming process
which reduces the effects of boredom or that can be quite wasteful of participants
better performance due to repeating as a large number of people would need
the task. to…

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2. 3. Usually more time consuming and can
cost a lot more money due to having to
include a large sample in order to
address the quantitative requirements.


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