Researcher bias describes when a team of analysts subjectively interpret data in a manner that affects the success of the project they handle. Every researcher should strive to remain objective all the time, especially when they conduct a study. There are different strategies that they can use to help them avoid bias in research, and this article will take you through some of the approaches to consider.
What is Researcher Bias
Before anything else, let us look at what researcher bias is all about. It is basically a situation that causes researchers opinions or perspectives to influence the result of their research. researcher bias can occur at different stages of the research process, including the theory development, initial planning stage, data collection, and analysis stages.
Researchers’ bias can occur in different instances, and when this happens, it only causes results and findings to have a subjective point of view. This can also affect the way professionals use the data from the research. There are many ways that researchers introduce bias to their study, and this can be intentional or unintentional.
How to Avoid Researcher Bias
Here are some steps to help you avoid researcher bias in any study:
Create a Research Plan
As you plan your study, you need to consider the potential for bias in the study. Take time to assess the survey questions with your team members, and carefully analyze every course of action.
Evaluate your Hypothesis
This describes the assumptions you intend to test for your study. There are different aspects to pay attention to while evaluating your hypothesis, and they include alternative ideas, question development, and responder expectations.
Ask General Questions Before Specifying
As you construct your interview questions, do not dive directly into specific questions. Always start by asking general questions to introduce the topic. After that, you can proceed to ask more specific questions.
Place Topics into Separate Categories
The importance is that it helps in reducing the potential for the halo effect. Be sure to group your topics into different categories and make them easier for your respondents to decipher your point of view.
Summarize Answers Using the Original Context
This is a great way to reduce cultural bias, and for this, you’ll need to pay attention to the responses you get. You can use framing, phrases, and word devices to access responses.
There are many other ways to avoid researcher bias in your study, but with these five tips, you are off to an effective start to avoiding researcher bias.