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Do experimenters always provide ethical oversite,  interpret and report results? 

When tailoring a measure, what are some things that may need to be done to make sure it is the same measure as when it began?


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Study Design: Considerations for Selecting the Best Measure

When designing a research study, it is crucial to select the most appropriate measures to ensure validity and reliability (Verschuren et al., 2008). Key considerations include defining research objectives, such as assessing the impact of a teaching method on student performance through measures like test scores, surveys, and observations; ensuring validity by using appropriate scales for specific constructs, like the Beck Depression Inventory for depression research; prioritizing reliability by selecting measures that yield consistent results over time, akin to a reliable thermometer; recognizing the sensitivity of measures to detect meaningful changes, especially in drug effectiveness studies; and assessing the feasibility of data collection, tailoring measures to participant characteristics, like using simpler measures for young children in studies where complex questionnaires may be impractical (Whittemore & Melkus, 2008).

Pilot Study and Its Purpose

A pilot study is a small-scale preliminary investigation conducted before the main research study (Lowe, 2019). A pilot study, conducted prior to the main research, serves several purposes: firstly, it tests the feasibility of research methods and measures, examining their practicality and effectiveness in areas like participant recruitment and retention; secondly, it identifies and addresses challenges arising during data collection or analysis, allowing for method refinement; thirdly, it evaluates the reliability and validity of chosen measures to ensure their appropriateness and data quality; finally, it provides an initial estimate of effect sizes or potential outcomes, aiding in the determination of sample size requirements for the primary study.

Tailoring Measures to Participants

Researchers may need to tailor measures to their participants for various reasons, including accommodating diverse cultural and language backgrounds by translating, adapting, or culturally validating measures, ensuring age-appropriate assessments based on developmental stages, simplifying or adjusting measures for individuals with cognitive impairments, and providing alternative formats like braille or sign language for participants with sensory impairments (Bordens & Abbott).

Participants: Selection and Concerns

When selecting participants for research, researchers commonly employ random sampling to ensure unbiased participant selection, granting every potential participant an equal chance of inclusion (Bordens & Abbott). Alternatively, stratified sampling may be employed to ensure representation of diverse subgroups within the population. However, researchers must address several concerns related to human participants, including obtaining informed consent to ensure participants understand the study’s purpose and risks, safeguarding privacy and data confidentiality, addressing ethical dilemmas related to balancing research benefits and potential harm, particularly among vulnerable populations, and mitigating bias in participant selection to enhance the study’s generalizability.

Experimenters: Role in Research

Experimenters play a crucial multifaceted role in research, encompassing study design (including measure selection and protocol development), data collection (which involves surveys, experiments, and observations), data analysis (for drawing conclusions and hypothesis testing), ethical oversight (ensuring compliance with guidelines like informed consent and participant protection), and the vital task of interpreting findings and reporting results transparently to advance the scientific community’s understanding.


Bordens, K. S., & Abbott, B. B. (2002). Research design and methods: A process approach. McGraw-Hill.

Lowe, N. K. (2019). What is a pilot study?. 
Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic & Neonatal

Whittemore, R., & Melkus, G. D. E. (2008). Designing a research study. 
The Diabetes Educator
34(2), 201-216.
48(2), 117-118.

Verschuren, P., Doorewaard, H., & Mellion, M. J. (2010). 
Designing a research project (Vol. 2). The Hague: Eleven International Publishing.

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