Measurement Error Essay

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Sources of Measurement Error Measurement is the process by where we assign value to empirical events, objects or properties, or activities according to a set of rules or standards (Cooper & Schindler, 2014). The goal of measurement is to represent the events, objects, properties, or activities with complete precision and control. Because a researcher does not have complete control, errors do occur. Measurement error is the difference between the research value assigned and the true value. “Measurement error occurs at the time of data collection and is a type of non-sampling error” (Bavdaz, 2010, p. 25). Random error is an error that occurs without any pattern, while systematic errors are the result of bias. Systematic error occurs …show more content…
Measurement errors can also happen when personal questions are asked. This is especially true with questions that pertain to the respondent’s height, weight, income, drug use, criminal activity, and sexual experience. Respondents may also be reluctant to express truthful answers when they have particularly strong feelings or attitudes associated with the subject such as politics and religion. The respondent’s current state also plays a factor in the quality of their answers. Outside of sensitive subjects, measurement errors can also occur if the respondent is tired, frightened, anxious, or bored they may not answer the questions accurately. A respondent may inadvertently provide inaccurate answers when they lack to access the necessary materials needed during the survey or in cases where they are asked to select all answers that apply or to provide rankings (Stern, Smyth, & Mendez, 2012). Respondents may also feel compelled to answer questions they have no knowledge or are not qualified to answer if they possess a strong desire to please, or if they perceive consequences for not doing …show more content…
This can happen if there is a lack of rapport between the interviewer and respondent, if the respondent feels intimidated, or attacked, or if the respondent is uncomfortable talking frankly with the interviewer. Should the interviewer succumb to stereotyping the respondent, this also raises the probability of error through bias. The interviewer’s ability to answer clarify any respondent questions or probe deeper for answers may improve the answer quality, but any lack of concentration or administrative errors have the potential to skew the data. Using more than one interviewer can also influence the data. Studies show that responses collected by a single interviewer tend to be more similar that responses collected by multiple interviewers (West, Kreuter, & Jaenichen,

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