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Data Collection Methods for Human Growth and Development Research

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  • 0:07 Why Data Collection is…
  • 1:36 Primary Data Collection
  • 3:50 Secondary Data Collection
  • 4:41 The Multi-Method Approach
  • 5:37 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Lisa Roundy

Lisa has taught at all levels from kindergarten to college and has a master's degree in human relations.

This lesson will help you understand and differentiate between the methods of data collection that can be used in human growth and development research.

Why Data Collection Is Important

A researcher wants to know more about the shopping habits of teenage girls. He has decided that a survey would be the best way to obtain data for his study. He puts together a team of assistants to administer the survey. The assistants ask the survey questions to random teenage girls at the local mall. His assistants will then return the completed surveys to him for analysis. This is a simple example of data collection.

Data collection is nothing more than the process of gathering data from various sources into one place. This is an important aspect of any type of research study because inaccurate data collection can alter the results of the research and even lead to invalid results. Because of this, researchers have to consider more than just how to get data. They have to consider how to get useful data.

Imagine what could happen in the above example if one assistant gathering the information did not record the survey answers properly. What if the meaning of the questions on the survey were difficult to understand? Would the overall data still be accurate? What if the data is not specific enough to yield a relevant answer? These are just a few of the concerns that must go into planning the method of data collection that will be used in a research study.

So, what are some of the different data collection techniques that researchers use? To answer this question, let's look at the two sources of data researchers use and the data collection methods used for each type.

Primary Data Collection

Primary data collection uses questions or observations to produce data. Primary data is collected specifically for a research project when existing information is unavailable or inappropriate. Let's look at some examples of different primary data collection techniques.

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