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CH 5

Observation method

• Structured Observation: Requires fairly precise problem definition. Can be used in descriptive
and causal research

• Unstructured Observation: Requires a great deal of flexibility. More likely to be used in

exploratory research

• Disguised Observation: Subjects are not aware that they are being observed

• Undisguised Observation: Subjects are aware that they are being observed

• Natural Observation: Subjects are observed in the environment where the behavior normally
takes place. Amount of time spent reviewing an in-store point-of-purchase display

• Contrived Observation: Subjects are observed in an environment that has been designed for
recording their behavior. Amount of time spent reviewing a virtual reality point-of-purchase

• Human Administration: Trained researchers observe and record phenomenon. Notes are written
in the field, summarized back in the office

• Mechanical Administration: Electronic devices observe and record phenomenon. Bar-code

scanners are one of the most important methods of mechanical observation

CH 6

Communication method for Primary Data

• Structured Communication: Questions are standardized. Simple to administer. Saves time and
money. Easy to analyze. Used in structured questionnaires and fixed-alternative questions

• Unstructured Communication: Open-ended questions have structured questions with

unstructured response options. Open-ended responses present interpretation challenges

• Disguised Communication: Attempts to hide the purpose or sponsor of the study

• Undisguised Communication: Subjects are aware of the purpose of the study

• Personal Interviews: Direct, face-to-face conversation between an interviewer and the

respondent; Allows the most sample control; Low non-response due to refusals to participate;
Best for long questionnaires; Most versatile method; Increase in interviewers increases
interviewer-related variations in responses

• Telephone Interviews: Telephone conversation between an interviewer and a respondent;

Provides most control in terms of time to complete study

• Mail Questionnaires: A questionnaire administered by mail to designated respondents with an

accompanying cover letter; Allows representative & wide sample to be used; Relatively
inexpensive means of recruiting respondents; More appropriate for contacting busy executives
than a telephone or personal interview; Slowest turnaround

• Internet-based Questionnaires: A questionnaire that relies on the Internet for completion;

Provides highest turnaround; Least expensive

• Each of these methods of administration have trade-offs in terms of:

• Sampling Control: The ability to identify, reach, and receive answers from population

• Information Control: The amount, type, quality of information that can be retrieved
from respondents

• Administrative Control: Ability to control quality, time, and cost

CH 7

Scales of measurement

• From now on, we need to think in terms of “variables.”

• Variables are things that “vary” in value.

• In other words, variables can be “measured,” or expressed in “numbers.”

• These numbers may represent “arithmetic value” or just “assignments.”

• This is done by transforming your research question/hypotheses into survey questions.

• The survey answers you obtain from your respondents become the “numeric” data you enter
into your regression (to represent your variables).

Measurement: Rules for assigning numbers to objects to represent quantities of attributes

Nominal scale: Measurement in which numbers are assigned to objects or classes of objects solely
for the purpose of identification Ex: Brand Purchase: Which brand of mascara did you purchase?1-
clinique. 2-maybelline. Using a nominal scale, you “assign” an arbitrary number to each brand. .
Values are only meaningful in current survey..Average: Mode (value occurring most frequently)

Ordinal scale: Measurement in which numbers are assigned to data on the basis of some order (e.g.,
more than, greater than) of objects. Brand Preference: Rank the following mascara brands (1=Most
preferred, 4=Least preferred) . Using an ordinal scale, you arrange the brands in some order. The
distance between brands may or may not be equal. Values are only meaningful in current survey.
Average: Median (midpoint), Mode

Interval scale: Measurement in which the assigned numbers legitimately allow the comparison of
the size of the differences among and between numbers. Brand Attitude: What is your feeling
toward each of the following mascara brands (1=Negative, 5=Positive)?

• Using an interval scale, you indicate the degree of preference for each brand.
• The distance between brands are equal. Values are only meaningful in current survey. Average:
Mean (arithmetic average), Median, Mode

Ratio scale: Measurement that has a natural, or absolute, zero and therefore allows the comparison
of absolute magnitudes of the numbers. Brand Purchase: How many cases of each of the following
mascaras did you purchase last year?

• Using a ratio scale, you measure some value that has arithmetic meaning (e.g., sales in dollar or
volume, market share, price, etc.) Values are meaningful in the real world. Average: Mean
(arithmetic average), Median, Mode

• Interval vs Ratio:

• Interval Scale: Zero is just another scale position. Zero = the scale point between -1 and 1 What
is your attitude toward credit cards?

• Ratio Scale: Zero has an absolute meaning. Zero = Absence of the property being measured.
What is your credit card balance?

Data collected at higher levels can be represented at lower levels; however, data collected at lower
levels cannot be represented at higher levels. From highest to lowest ratio, interval, ordinal,

• Measuring attitudes & other unobservable: How can attitudes, perceptions, and preferences be

– Most of the time they are assessed via respondent self-reports: A communication
method is employed and respondents are asked for their evaluations (i.e., attitudes)
with regard to an attitude object

– Two most common scale types are both at the interval level of measurement:
Summated-Rating (Likert) Scale. Semantic-Differential Scale.

– Semantic differential questions ask where the respondent’s position is on a scale

between two bipolar adjectives. Compare this with a question using a Likert Scale:

• Even number options force respondents to take a side. Odd number options allows respondents
to take the easy way out. Other considerations: Including a “Don’t Know” or “Not Applicable”
Response Category. Reverse Scaling: The Summated-Rating example had two positively worded
and two negatively worded items.

• Reliability vs Validity: Reliability doesn’t ensure validity: In other words, you can consistently be
asking the wrong question!

CH 8

Determine wording of each question

• Use Simple Words: Most researchers are more highly educated than the typical questionnaire
respondent. Use conversational language
• Avoid Ambiguous Words and Questions: Avoid “problem” words like occasionally, often, rarely,
sometimes, usually as they can be imprecise and/or ambiguous

• Avoid Leading Questions: Avoid basically telling respondents how to answer, or even a clue as to
how to answer

• Avoid Unstated Alternatives; Two different groups of homemakers; the first group answered the
first question, the second group answered the second

• Avoid Assumed Consequences – you should clearly frame your question by providing all possible
implications of a situation

• Avoid Generalizations and Estimates: Two possible questions of purchasing agents: “How many
salespeople did you see last year?” VS “How many salespeople have you seen in the last two

• Avoid Double-Barreled Questions: “How satisfied were you with the price and quality of service
that you received?”

• Determine question sequence

• Use Simple and Interesting Opening Questions: Start with simple, interesting, nonthreatening
questions. Questions that ask for opinions are often good

• Use the Funnel Approach: Start broad and progressively narrow down the scope

• Ask for Classification Information Last: Collect responses relevant to the purpose of the study,
like attitudes, intentions, perceptions, first.

• Collect responses relevant for classification, like demographics, last. Place Difficult or Sensitive
Questions Late in the Questionnaire. Don’t ask unless absolutely necessary

• Determine Physical Characteristics of Questionnaire

• Carefully constructed, professional questionnaires have a positive influence on respondents’


• Sloppy, unprofessional questionnaires signal that the study may be unimportant and hurt the
chances of respondents’ cooperation

• Questionnaire should appear simple to complete: For paper forms this means adequate white
space and font sizes, minimal number of pages, clear directions. For electronic forms the same
issues are important

• Other questionnaire design issues

• Pretest is vital: Pretesting serves the same role in questionnaire design that test marketing
serves in new product development

• Know exactly how each piece of data will be used: Dummy tables can assist greatly

• No “nice-to-know” questions: If it isn’t necessary, don’t ask for it