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Social Sciences Essay

1. Primary data are those which are collected afresh and for the first time, and thus happen to be original in character. They are gathered by the researcher for the specific purpose of addressing the research problem. Secondary data, on the other hand, are those which have already been collected by someone else and have been processed statistically. These are collected for some purpose other than the problem at hand (Polonsky & Waller, 2005; Kothari, 2005).

Some of the disadvantages of using a newspaper or magazine article as secondary source are doubts in the reliability, credibility and accuracy of data as sources may not be known, and the obsolescence of data as well (Summers & Johnson-Morgan, 2005). Primary and secondary data alone are not sufficient. They should be both used in research because secondary data can be lacking something that only primary data can provide (Groucutt, Leadley, & Forsyth, 2004). 2. Television broadcasts such as news are not totally valid as there is a tendency, especially in programs aimed at a wide public, to oversimplify data.

News normally offers one set of secondary data. It would be a better practice to compare data from different sources (Walliman, 2006). The questionnaire, as a means for collecting primary data, should have minimal errors in its design in order to minimize bias in reporting and to maximize the likelihood of generating information that is reliable and valid (Amedeo, Golledge, & Stimson, 2008). A systematic research design is aimed to ensure that appropriate issues are taken into account. It provides the mechanism by which research processes and practices can be assessed.

The research design lays the foundation for a sound hypothesis describing the interrelationship of variables and providing the researcher with a baseline from which to work. A good research design eliminates ambiguity in concepts, thus ensuring construct validity. The actual design of the research process ensures that no other variables can affect the study, hence enhancing internal validity. The research design also provides control to unwanted variables that may arise in the conduct of the research in order to uphold its external validity.

Statistical tests are used as instruments to verify the validity of the hypothesis. Hence, if statistical information is wrong, the hypothesis will be invalid (Black, 1999). References Amedeo, D. , Golledge, R. G. , & Stimson, R. J. (2008). Person-Environment-Behavior Research: Investigating Activities and Experiences in Spaces and Environments. New York: Guilford Press. Black, T. R. (1999). Doing Quantitative Research in the Social Sciences: An Integrated Approach to Research Design, Measurement and Statistics. California: SAGE Publishing.

Groucutt, J. , Leadley, P. , & Forsyth, P. (2004). Marketing: Essential Principles, New Realities. London: Kogan Page Publishers. Kothari, C. R. (2005). Research Methodology: Methods & Techniques. New Delhi: New Age Publishers. Polonsky, M. J. , & Waller, D. S. (2005). Designing and Managing a Research Project: A Business Student’s Guide. California: SAGE Publishing. Summers, J. & Johnson-Morgan, M. (2005). Sports Marketing. Ontario: Nelson Thomson Learning. Walliman, N. S. R. (2006). Social Research Methods. California: SAGE Publishing.

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