Copyright

Using Archival Research & Secondary Records to Collect Social Research Data

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

Coming up next: Descriptive Research Design: Definition, Examples & Types

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
 Replay
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:06 Archival
  • 0:50 Archival Example
  • 1:36 Meta-Analysis
  • 2:31 Meta-Analysis Example
  • 3:37 Lesson Summary
Add to Add to Add to

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Login or Sign up

Timeline
Autoplay
Autoplay
Speed

Recommended Lessons and Courses for You

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Devin Kowalczyk

Devin has taught psychology and has a master's degree in clinical forensic psychology. He is working on his PhD.

This lesson explores the idea of what happens when researchers already have information and data that they can study. You'll get the chance to look at descriptions of archival and meta-analysis research.

Archival

Sometimes, if you're lucky, you will have something you can study without having to go out and find it. For instance, if you work for a program or company that holds onto information about clients, then you already have the client data that you can study. Or, if you don't work for a company but have access to research papers, then you also have data at your fingertips.

Archival research is analyzing already collected data. It is looking at what is already in hand and applying statistical measures to it to describe the information in a simpler way. For example, a stack of random information about clients can be turned into a representative statistic, such as the average age, the average income, gender and ethnicity.

If you work at a psychological service center, you and your employees will see dozens, if not hundreds, of clients a day. That's a lot of people in and out of your doors.

Let's say a financier comes along and wants to help by providing your center with a donation. This is really good news since the other sources of money have been recently drying up. However, before your financier will give you the donation, they want to make sure that you're providing adequate services. This means you and your staff will need to perform an evaluation of your clients.

Now, to get the grant, you and your employees must use your archived information to produce information about what you have done. This does not necessarily need to be published, but the work is needed all the same.

Meta-Analysis

Every researcher will eventually have an idea that's already been thought of before. It happens. Sometimes, even really interesting and unique things have been tested and published long before you were even ever born!

So, should you just give up and move on to the next experiment? You can do that, or you can find all the information on the topic and perform a meta-analysis. A meta-analysis is a study examining prior research related to a single hypothesis. This is a form of archival research since the data has already been collected, and you're re-examining it.

Instead of performing just one experiment and being lost amongst the others, you could look at all of the experiments and make a big statement by combining them. This typically takes the form of an advanced statistical procedure to sum up the effects. Let's look at an example to show you what I mean.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about Study.com
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 160 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create An Account
Support