Research bias: What it is, Types & Examples

The researcher sometimes unintentionally or actively affects the process while executing a systematic inquiry. This is known as research bias, and it can affect your results just like any other sort of bias.

When it comes to studying bias, there are no hard and fast guidelines, which simply means that it can occur at any time. Experimental mistakes and a lack of concern for all relevant factors can lead to bias in research.

One of the most common causes of study results with low credibility is research bias. You must be cautious when characterizing bias in research because of its informal nature. To reduce or prevent its occurrence, you need to be able to recognize its characteristics. We will cover what is it, its type, and how to avoid it in this article.

What is research bias?

Research bias is a technique where the researchers conducting the experiment modify the findings in order to present a specific consequence. It is often known as experimenter bias.

Bias is a characteristic of the research technique that makes it rely on experience and judgment rather than data analysis. The most important thing to know about bias is that it is unavoidable in many fields. Understanding and reducing the effects of biased views is an important part of any research planning process.

As an example, it is much easy to become attracted to a certain point of view when using social research subjects, compromising fairness.

Types of research bias with examples

Bias can be seen in practically every aspect of quantitative research and qualitative research, and it can come from both the survey developer and the participants. The sorts of biases that come directly from the survey maker are the easiest to deal with out of all the different types of bias in research. Let’s look at some of the most typical research biases.

Design bias

Design bias happens when a researcher fails to capture the biased views present in most types of experiments. It has something to do with the organization and methods of your research. The researcher must demonstrate that they realize this and have made every effort to mitigate its influence.

After the research is completed and the results are analyzed, another sort of design bias develops. This occurs when the researchers’ original concerns are not reflected in the exposure, which is all too often these days.

As an example, a researcher working on a survey containing questions concerning health benefits may overlook the researcher’s awareness of the sample group’s limitations. It’s possible that the group tested was all male or all over a particular age.

Selection or sampling bias

In research, selection bias manifests itself in a variety of ways. When the method of sampling puts preference into the research, this is known as sampling bias. It occurs when volunteers are chosen to represent your research population but those with different experiences are ignored.

For example, research on a disease that depended heavily on white male volunteers cannot be generalized to the full community. Where it includes women and people of other races or communities.

Procedural bias

Procedural bias is a sort of research bias that occurs when survey respondents are given insufficient time to complete surveys. As a result, participants are forced to submit half-thoughts with misinformation, which does not accurately reflect their thinking.

Another sort of study bias is using individuals who are forced to participate, as they are more likely to complete the survey fast, leaving them with enough time to accomplish other things.

For Example, If you ask your employee to do a survey during their break, they may be put under pressure, which may compromise the validity of their results.

Publication or reporting bias

A sort of bias that influences research is publication bias. It is also known as reporting bias. It refers to a condition in which favorable outcomes are more likely to be reported than negative or empty ones. The publication standards for research articles in a specific area frequently reflect this bias on them. Researchers sometimes choose not to disclose their outcomes if they believe the data do not reflect their theory.

As an example, there was seven research on the antidepressant drug Reboxetine. Among them, only one got published and the others are unpublished.

Measurement or data collecting bias

A defect in the data collection and measuring technique causes measurement bias. Data collecting bias is also known as measurement bias. It occurs in both qualitative and quantitative research methodologies. 

One of the most common forms of measurement bias in quantitative investigations is instrument bias. A defective scale would generate instrument bias and invalidate the experimental process in a quantitative experiment. Data collection methods might occur in quantitative research when you use an approach that is not appropriate for your research population.

For example, you may ask those who do not have internet access to conduct a survey by email or on your website.

Data collection bias occurs in qualitative research when inappropriate survey questions are asked during an unstructured interview. Bad survey questions are those that lead the interviewee to make presumptions. Subjects are frequently very hesitant to provide socially incorrect responses for fear of being criticized.

As an example, a topic can try to avoid coming across as homophobic or racist in an interview.

Conclusion

You must comprehend biases in research and how to deal with it. It is also necessary to have a clear idea in order to recognize it in any form. Knowing the different sorts of biases in research allows you to readily identify them.

QuestionPro provides a large number of tools and settings that can assist you in dealing with research bias. Try QuestionPro today if you want to undertake your original bias-free quantitative or qualitative research.

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