Making Research Decisions and Choice of Rating Scales

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Making Research Decisions Rating Scales
As a researcher, one must choose which rating scale is going to be the most effective method. Once choosing the scale, he/she then must decide the amount of choices the subject has. We are going to explore four different scales: 1. Yes/Depends/no, 2. Excellent/Good/Fair/Poor, 3. Excellent/Good/Average/Poor, and 4. Strongly Approve/Approve/Uncertain/Disapprove Strongly Disapprove.

I believe that the yes –maybe-no scale is somewhat week unless used in exploratory research (Cooper & Schindler. 2011. p 276). Once some correlation has been made, whether it is positive or negative, it can help guide the research into further research studies. Personally, if I were to look for stronger information I would prefer something with more choices for the subject to have, for often times people will pick the most neutral answer.

The four choice response surveys such as excellent, good, fair, and poor are somewhat misleading and in my belief the choices are all lean towards a favorable outcome. Cooper & Schindler addressed this as an unbalanced rating scale (p. 296). However, I do believe that if the majority of subjects picked “poor” the researcher than has a definitive answer.

My favorite rating scale is the strongly approve, approve, uncertain, disapprove, and strong disapprove. I think that having the neutral response of “uncertain” is the balancing point for the negative and positive responses. In either the negative or the positive responses, the variation is still available for the researcher to discover levels of approval and disapproval. The only issue that I have found with this particular scale is that there should be another measurement such as age and gender to inform the researcher the specific likes and dislikes about the subject/object at hand (Cooper & Schindler. p 272).

Terms in Review Factors for Secondary Sources
Whenever one chooses to use secondary sources in their research he/she must evaluate the legitimacy of the source to find its value in making any decision based off the data found within the document. One must look at the purpose of the article, the scope of the article, the strength of authority within the article, who is the attended audience, and how the article was formatted.

As a researcher, when I am looking at a secondary source I am seeking to find what purpose does this article have and ask myself is there a hidden agenda in the paper or is it explicit and direct to the point. I then look at the scope of the article to discover the depth of the article and how much information is spread throughout. Geographical and time frames are also important to satisfy my needs in using the article. I say this, because if the article is aged or it only pertains to one particular region it may not satisfy my needs for any research that I may be doing. (Cooper & Schindler. p 104). The authorative importance is also extremely important, and for myself, I believe that it is the most important factor when considering secondary sources. I prefer primary sources, but there are times when I have to settle with secondary and even tertiary sources and will do so if the articles are supplying me with the primary sources in which they garnered their information (p 104).

It is also imperative that one realizes who the audience is when using any article as a reference. Who is the article catering to is very important because if it is to novices it could be a long drawn out article that may not garner the information required. If the author assumes that the reader knows all the details on an expert level, it could leave the researcher with misguided assumptions (Cooper & Schindler. p 105). The format of the article is also very important, because if it is easily researched and can be downloaded it aids the researcher in acquiring needed information in a timely fashion ( p 105).

Primary data is the original work of the research and the...
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