Understanding Business Research Terms and Concepts: Part 3
A. Determine which level of measurement— nominal, ordinal, interval, or ratio—is used in the following examples.
1. The Association of Accountants is conducting a survey to determine the ranking of the top 100 accounting firms in the world. Ordinal
2. How many years did it take you to earn your college degree? Ratio
3. On a questionnaire which asks for gender, males are coded as 1 and females are coded as 2. Nominal
4. Respondents are asked to rate a list of high-tech companies as excellent, good, fair, or poor in terms of their service delivery. Ordinal
5. Cereal brands are arranged in an ordered sequence in which an equal interval exists between each point. Interval
6. Jake Locker averages 350 yards per game passing. Interval
7. The length of time it takes the winner of a marathon to cross the finish line. Ratio
8. Students are asked to rank computer manufacturers. Ordinal
9. The brand of charge card used by a customer. Nominal
B. Which sampling method—simple random, systematic, stratified, cluster, convenience, judgment, quota, or snowball—is most appropriate for the following examples? Explain why.
1. The unemployment rate is calculated each month by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The survey consists of 50,000 households in about 2,000 counties and cities in all 50 states. Stratified. Because you are dividing into subgroups prior to sampling.
2. A researcher for Kraft Foods selects five states randomly, and then selects 10 supermarkets chains within each state to call for a phone survey as test markets for a new cookie. Cluster. You are dividing into groups or cluster then taking a random sample.
3. A new product researcher would like to investigate the use of virtual teams. After conducting an interview with a manager, she asks for the names of other managers that use virtual teams. Snowball. You are using a small pool of subjects and generating more from them.
4. A news reporter asks people on the street their opinion about the president’s new bill. Convenience. There are some members of the population that have no chance of being selected and you are using readily available subjects.
5. Jamie select Denver, Colorado; Chicago, Illinois; and San Diego, California as test markets for a potato chip line base on her experience with these markets. Judgment. Because Jamie has used his or her own judgment to select the appropriate sample.
6. A researcher instructs field interviewers to interview customers of different cell phone companies in a nearby shopping mall so that they each interview 10 AT&T, 8 T Mobile, 6 Verizon, and 4 owners of other cell phone providers. Quota. Because there is a set requirement of the sampling pool.
7. The Consumer Price Index represents a sampling of 90,000 items from 364 categories, chosen from 20,000 retail stores in 85 geographically distributed areas that are chosen to be as similar as possible. Stratified. Because you are dividing into subgroups prior to sampling.
8. A finance professor wants to know how many MBA students would be willing to take a course in international finance this summer. She surveys students in the class she is currently teaching. Cluster because she is dividing all MBA students into a group and sampling her class. It could also be seen as Convenience because she is sampling a group that is on hand and there is a set that doesn’t have a chance to be selected (anyone not in her class).
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