Describe the unethical behavior in each example and describe how it could impact the reliability of the resulting data. Explain how the problem should be corrected. A researcher is collecting data in a community. She selects a block where she is comfortable walking because she knows many of the people living on the street. No one seems to be home at four houses on her route. She does not record the addresses and does not return at a later time to try to find residents at home. She skips four houses on her route because she is running late for an appointment. When she gets home, she fills in the forms by selecting random answers from other residents in the neighborhood.
By selecting a convenient sample, the researcher is intentionally selecting a sample that could be biased. Claiming that this sample represents the community is misleading. The researcher needs to select areas in the community at random. Intentionally omitting relevant data will create bias in the sample. Suppose the researcher is gathering information about jobs and child care. By ignoring people who are not home, she may be missing data from working families that are relevant to her study. She needs to make every effort to interview all members of the target sample. It is never acceptable to fake data. Even though the responses she uses are “real” responses provided by other participants, the duplication is fraudulent and can create bias in the data. She needs to work diligently to interview everyone on her route.
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