Research Bias

Are you new to academic research? One of the first things you should know is the importance of avoiding compromising research bias during your research. This is because if care is not taken, research bias can only alter the credibility of your study.

This article will take you through some of the basic things that you should know about research bias. We’ll cover topics like what research bias is and the common types of research bias you should know. Continue reading to find out more.

What is Research Bias?

Research bias describes cases when the researcher unintentionally or intentionally skews through the process of systematic inquiry. This ultimately skews the outcome of the research or study. Basically, research bias occurs whenever researchers alter the results of their research by directly influencing how they arrive at the results they get from the research.

A key thing to note is that research bias is not always intended or deliberate. In many cases, it’s usually a result of poor study design or changes with respect to obtaining suitable samples. Perfect objectivity I the ideal thing for every research. However, it’s not always possible to completely avoid some form of bias in the study you perform.

Reducing bias begins with identifying the main things to look for. This includes knowing the different types of research bias that are mostly encountered in research or during a study. Basically, there are many types of bias that can find a way into your project, but we’ll only highlight a few.

Types of Bias

Without further ado, let us go through the different types of research bias that you should know:

Selection Bias

The first on our list is selection bias, and this occurs when your study design excludes a vital group from the design. This ultimately alters the quality of the result that you get. Basically, when selection bias occurs, the selected result will be more favoured in the study.

It’s important to note that selection bias mostly occurs in quantitative research because the sampling strategy affectsthe main impact of the result from your statistics. This type of bias can also occur in qualitative research because there are different ways by which samples can be skewed.

Therefore, during your research, the main thing to ensure is paying close attention to your samples and the strategy you employ when selecting your samples. It’s also vital that you understand how samples get skewed to help you avoid this type of research bias.

Analysis Bias

Analysis bias is the next type of bias that occurs, and this type of bias occurs when the analysis discounts or emphasizes some data points. This is to ultimately favor a certain result, and in most cases, the result is what the researcher mostly expects.

Basically, this type of bias will take place if you place more priority on making your data support a particular hypothesis, or idea, rather than going against it. This type of bias is also common with quantitative research, but it can occur in most qualitative research as well, and it depends on the type of interpretive power that the researcher has.

Reducing the risk of this type of bias begins with determining the data analysis strategy and getting so much detail out of it. It’s important to do this even before you start collecting all your data.

Procedural Bias

The last on our list is the procedural bias, and which is also called an administration bias. This type of bias is easy to overlook, but it’s very important to ensure that you avoid it. The bias mostly occurs when administering the study itself. This is also vital particular with the aspect of collecting data.

There are many ways by which this type of bias occurs, and one notable way it occurs is via the format that you use when collecting data. Unlike the other types of bias that we have mentioned above, procedural bias is mostly common in qualitative research, and it can happen in any fieldwork, especially one that involves the active collection of data. However, you can avoid bias when considering how you collect the data.

As mentioned earlier, these are not the only type of research bias that can affect your research, and it’s important to ensure that you avoid them because they can negatively impact the quality of your research.

For emphasis, three common types of research bias that we considered in this article include selection bias, analysis bias, and procedural bias. It’s important to understand these three biases and also familiarize yourself with them to help you easily identify potential sources of bias that can affect your research. Research bias is basically cases where researchers or even the research design adversely alters the quality of your research, and this is not always an intentional thing.

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