Researchers mostly rely on the responses of their research participants. Every research data collection method, whether it is a survey, questionnaire, or interview, depends on the responses of the research participants. The collected data then go for analysis, and the researcher gets more insights into the data. What if the research participants exhibit participant bias and do not give satisfactory responses or give answers just to please the researcher? It means the data collected is not the true representative of the research population, and the analysis results will also be wrong.
Many researchers, when conducting the research, do not know about this type of bias and hence obtain faulty data. As you are here, it means you are one of those researchers and want to learn more about participant bias. Well, you have come to the right place. In today’s post, we will explain this bias in detail, along with its types and examples. So, let’s start the discussion with the definition of this type of bias.
What is participant bias in research?
Sometimes when conducting research, you may feel like your research participants are forcefully exhibiting some kind of behaviour. It feels like they are just answering the question and not answering them right. This is what participant bias is. The respondents give responses in a manner that suggests that they are just matching the expectations of the researcher and nothing else. They do not give the actual information. It means that the respondents hide their true identity and do not act normal during the data collection phase.
What are examples of participant bias?
Knowing the definition of this bias covers its theoretical part. It is the examples that make the practical base of your understanding of this bias. So, let’s discuss some examples of participant bias in research.
Example no. 1
A researcher selects 500 field managers to know about their workloads. In the survey questionnaire, he asks the managers about their workload and responsibilities in the company. Now, the managers who work hard and manage their workloads effectively will answer the questions quite honestly. But, the managers who have less workload may refrain from giving the true answers to the questions because they might think that if survey results get leaked, they may be fired from the job. This is called participant bias.
Example no. 2
The researcher wants to know about the hand washing routine of the doctors working at a hospital. In order to know about their routine, he sends them a questionnaire and asks doctors to answer the questions. It is obligatory for doctors to wash their hands periodically, but there are only a few who actually do so. To hide their identity, doctors may give false answers to the questions and commit bias.
So, these are some examples of participant bias. If you still do not understand it, go and get help from dissertation writers UK.
What are the types of participant bias?
After learning about the definition and examples, you must have an idea of this important kind of bias in research. It is time to expand our knowledge and go a bit further and discuss its types. Hence, a brief description of its major types is as follows:
- Acquiescence Bias. Acquiescence or Yes bias is the type of bias when the research participant feels inclined towards answering the question in a positive way. It does not matter what happens; the respondent gives the “YES” answer.
- Social desirability bias. It is the second type of participant bias, and it happens when the respondent answers the question based on what is socially perceived as correct. Survey questions around religion and sex are prone to this kind of bias.
- Confirmation bias. Confirmation bias happens when the respondent follows his beliefs and ignores the factual information that contrasts his pre-existing beliefs. It also happens mostly in the case of religious research, where the pre-existing beliefs about certain things do not let the participants answer the opposite way.
- Habituation bias. Habituation bias occurs when the questions of the survey are more or less the same. Although, in actuality, they are not the same, the respondent perceives them as repeated questions and answers all of them in a singular and same way.
- The halo effect. Lastly, the halo effect is the type of participant bias which is connected to the feelings of the respondents. It depends on how the respondent perceives the question. Does the question ignite positive feelings in him or negative?
So, these are the 5 types of this bias. If you want to know more about them, you can take dissertation help UK and get your queries answered.
Conclusively, participant bias can occur due to pre-existing beliefs of the researcher or repeating the same question. This whole article has disclosed all the information about this type of bias. By reading the information above, you can learn about its definition, types, and examples.