Sikkim Manipal University - MBA - MB0050 – Research Methodology
Semester: 3 - Assignment Set: 1
familiarity with the problem or to make a precise formulation of the problem or to gatherinformation for clarifying concepts or to determine whether it is feasible to attempt thestudy. Katz conceptualizes two levels of exploratory studies. “At the first level is thediscovery of the significant variable in the situations; at the second, the discovery of relationships between variables.”
Independent and dependent and extraneous variables in a research design:
The research designer understandably cannot hold all his decisions in his head. Even if hecould, he would have difficulty in understanding how these are inter-related. Therefore, herecords his decisions on paper or record disc by using relevant symbols or concepts. Such asymbolic construction may be called the research design or model. A research design is alogical and systematic plan prepared for directing a research study.
Dependent and Independent variables:
A magnitude that varies is known as a variable. The concept may assume differentquantitative values, like height, weight, income, etc. Qualitative variables are notquantifiable in the strictest sense of objectivity. However, the qualitative phenomena mayalso be quantified in terms of the presence or absence of the attribute considered.Phenomena that assume different values quantitatively even in decimal points are knownas „continuous variables. But, all variables need not be continuous. Values that can be
expressed only in integer values are called „non-continuous variables. In statistical term,
they are also known as „discrete variable. For example, age is a continuous variable;
whereas the number of children is a non-continuous variable. When changes in onevariable depends upon the changes in one or more other variables, it is known as adependent or endogenous variable, and the variables that cause the changes in thedependent variable are known as the independent or explanatory or exogenous variables.For example, if demand depends upon price, then demand is a dependent variable, whileprice is the independent variable.And if, more variables determine demand, like income and prices of substitute commodity,then demand also depends upon them in addition to the own price. Then, demand is adependent variable which is determined by the independent variables like own price,income and price of substitute.
The independent variables which are not directly related to the purpose of the study butaffect the dependent variable are known as extraneous variables. For instance, assumethat a researcher wants to test the hypothesis that there is relationship between children’sschool performance and their self-concepts, in which case the latter is an independentvariable and the former, the dependent variable. In this context, intelligence may alsoinfluence the school performance. However, since it is not directly related to the purpose of the study undertaken by the researcher, it would be known as an extraneous variable. Theinfluence caused by the extraneous variable on the dependent variable is technically calledas an „experimental error. Therefore, a research study should always be framed in such a
manner that the dependent variable completely influences the change in the independentvariable and any other extraneous variable or variables.
Bhupinder Singh Reg. No. 521063004 Page 2 of 15
Sikkim Manipal University - MBA - MB0050 – Research MethodologySemester: 3 - Assignment Set: 2
respondents will not complete a questionnaire when there are complex skip patterns,when pages are crowded or hard to read or when instructions for completion are overlycomplex.It has been estimated that as many as 50% of respondents who start a self-administered questionnaire will not complete it because they become irritated andannoyed at the way it is constructed. When writing a self-administered questionnaire,then, every care must be taken to ensure that it is easy to complete in that it almostanswers itself.
Self-administered questionnaires should be written with an eighth grade mentality inmind while interviewer-administered questionnaire can be quite complex. Becauseinterviewers are trained in the flow of the questionnaires they administer and willconduct a number of practice interviews prior to confronting a respondent, developing acomplex questionnaire that is interviewer-administered does not present a problem forthe respondent.
Keep the respondent in one mind-set at a time. If at all possible, complete all yourquestions about one topic before moving on to the next. For example, don’t ask about afavorite place to shop, then about brands used and then go back to additionalquestioning on favorite place to shop.
Save sensitive questions for the end. Again, this might not always be possible, but whenit doesn’t matter, be aware that sensitive questions such as race or income can alienaterespondents and turn them off to the entire interview process. If asked at the end,respondents are more likely to answer as they are wholly invested in the questionnaire.
Biased question: What do you like about the last airline flight you took? Assumptionhere is that respondent liked something and the question tends to push for a positiveresponse.
Unbiased question. What, if anything, do you like the last airline flight you took? Bysimply using if anything as part of the question phrasing, the respondent is not put onthe spot to find something to like.
When conducting telephone interviews, it’s relatively easy to keep respondents on thephone and answering questions for 15, 20 or 25 minutes if the questionnaire has a goodflow and is thoughtfully written. But try keeping a respondent on the phone for 3minutes with a questionnaire that is the least bit confusing, seems redundant or isinsensitive to sensitive issues.
Question 2: What do you mean by primary data? What are the various methods of collecting primary data?Answer:
Primary Date is data that has not been previously published, i.e. the data is derived from a newor original research study and collected at the source, e.g., in marketing, it is information that
Bhupinder Singh Reg. No. 521063004 Page 2 of 15