Research Ethics Cont.

I looked at Natalie Schaffners blog post from last week and compared her findings to mine. Surprisingly, we found some similar information yet Natalie went into detail about ethics in everyday lives and how its all around us. She says that in every profession, there are ethical norms employees and management should abide by. Many different professions have standards for behavior that suit their particular aims and goals. These standards also help members of the profession to coordinate their actions to establish the public’s trust of the discipline. Natalie emphasis how discipline plays a big part in someone entire life, even when they are adults in the business world.

Natalie then goes in to talk about how norms promote the aim of research. She said that knowledge; truth and avoidance of error are the big three to focus on. I went into a little digging on the big three and found similar results. I found that researchers have had to deal with the ethical issue of a person’s right to service. Good research practice often requires the use of a control group in order to guarantee the big three is in mind.

Natalie also went into detail about how people fail to see different options due to a limited imagination, bias, ignorance, or fear. You want to see if there are any people who can offer ethical advice. It may be useful to seek advice from a colleague, a senior researcher, your department chair, and ethics compliance officer, or anyone else you can trust. This is a big part of research ethics and I found that people fear the lack of confidentiality.

People are sacred to be harmed when being involved in research. Harm can be defined as both physical and psychological. There are two standards that are applied in order to help protect the privacy of research participants. Almost all research guarantees the participants confidentiality and people abide by that. Research ethics really come into play when talking about the person helping out and protecting them is a major part of research ethics.

5 major principles of research ethics


Above is the link to an article by Deborah Smith, a member of the American Physiological Association. Throughout the article, Deborah discuses five major principles for research ethics. The first topic discussed was talking about intellectual property. She went through ways to avoid disagreements within a group on who should get credit for that research and in what order the issues should be talked about. The next section talked about being conscious of multiple roles in a group or persons life. Mrs. Smith said to avoid relationships that could reasonably impair their professional performance. Psychologists should think carefully before entering into multiple relationships with any person or group, such as recruiting students or clients as participants in research studies or investigating the effectiveness of a product of a company whose stock they own.

The third topic mentioned following informed rules. Deborah basically went through a code of ethics to follow when undergoing research and what procedures and research that is unethical. Next, Mrs. Smith talked about respecting people’s confidentiality and privacy. She put emphasis on knowing the state laws and thinking about data sharing before the research even begins. Lastly, Deborah went into detail about how tapping into ethics resources is a great way to avoid and resolve ethical dilemmas. Researchers can help themselves make ethical issues silent by reminding themselves of the basics of research and professional ethics.

I found it most intriguing about how many rules there really are based on ethics code and confidentiality agreements. Another thing learned was that the participant has full say in what he/she does or doesn’t say or do within the research. Also that the participant has the right to decline to participate and to withdraw from the research once it has started, as well as the anticipated consequences of doing so.

I feel the most beneficial thing Deborah touched on for students and professionals is when she talked about giving credit for the research. Minor contributions to the research or to the writing for publications are acknowledged appropriately, such as in footnotes or in an introductory statement.

The same rules apply to students. If they contribute to the concept design or analysis of the research reported, they should be listed as authors. Contributions that are primarily technical don’t warrant authorship.

In the end, there was a lot learned about what and whatnot to do from the article. Deborah went into great detail on 5 major recommendations that help give researches the ability to know what to steer clear of in terms of ethical quandaries. Deborah also says not to forget to think positively about interactions with a participant because it can help smooth the process for both researchers and the participant in the research.

Boundaries No More

Our final project for my Marketing & Research Strategies class is based on the Clothes Closet in Buckhannon, West Virginia. The Clothes Closet supports the Upshur Parish House and are locally run and operated by volunteers in the community. Right now, the lack of volunteers is becoming a burden of the foundation and help is needed. Marketing the Clothes Closet for volunteers is our main focus for our team and for our final project. After reading chapter 16, we will face many potential boundaries and limitations when finding ways to market the opportunity to volunteer at the Clothes Closet.

Some of the potential boundaries include advertising and the unknowns of the target market. Advertising is a big part of the problem for the Clothes Closet because many of the students from the college and people in the community don’t know that it even exists. In order for our team to get volunteers, the right advertising approach will be key. To avoid misleading impression and get a decent amount of feedback from the students, our team must have the perfect way to advertise the Clothes Closet. We can have 2 sample ads which are different in ways they catch peoples eyes. These sample probability ads will give us the ability to see which works best for finding volunteers then post the best ad which will attract th most attention.

Even though we aren’t inventing something, there are still many unknowns we will be dealing with when trying to figure out if our ability to get volunteers will be successful. Market research will likely reduce uncertainty in our ways of advertising and finding volunteers. The unknowns we will be dealing with are if people will see our advertisements and how many people see them then don’t respond to them. The respond rate will be a big factor in our success and finding out ways to improve it will be vital for our success.

Our team will have to face boundaries in order to successfully find volunteers for Clothes Closet. We will me able to overcome these with the proper surveys and advertisements. Also, conducting successful marketing research will further help our team in having a productive final project. The Clothes Closet will be better off when we are done and we hope to have a surplus of volunteers for them to be able to us and help with anything that needs to be done.

-Chad Pinson

Finding the Sample Size

This blog post will include solving a sample size problem the discussing the solution and seeing if it fits the problem. I’m going to solve a problem for a restaurant trying to figure out the average amount spent on a sit-down meal per month by households in a neighborhood. Its believed that households spend anywhere from $0-300 per month. Management from the restaurant wants to be 95 percent confident and wants a margin or error to be plus or minus $5.

In order to find the needed sample size to achieve these goals, the restaurant first must understand that the Z value for a 95% confidence interval is 2.0. Once they found this, the restaurant, will need to do 3 simple steps to figure out the sample size they are looking for.

Step 1: Square the Z value associated with the desired confidence interval.

2 squared= 4

Step 2: Multiply this number by the population variance.

4*.55 percent

Step 3: Divide by the square of the desired precision.

5 squared = 25

After doing these 3 steps, the restaurant will find out that they will find a sample size of about 400 families. This is the number needed in order for the restaurant to achieve their goals in finding what families spend money on sit-down meals. I feel like the sample size is reasonable because of the range of money the restaurant was looking for. $300 range is big margin for the restaurant to search for families in the surrounding areas.

If the restaurant were to lessen the margin range then it would have lowered the sample size needed. The more they raise the amount of money spent by each family, the bigger the sample size needed. The sample size is an important feature of any number study in which the goal is to make inferences about a population from a sample. The restaurant is now able to figure out the average amount spent on a sit-down meal per month by households in a neighborhood because of figuring out the sample size.

Survey Research

Survey Research

Survey research is a good type of quantitative market research companies can use to reach a large number of participants at a low and effective cost. Evaluative surveys are good to a customer’s stance on a specific brand and how their experiences with the product affect their buying relationship. This could be more valuable than learning customer characteristics, because surveys are such a flexible tool companies can use to find quick information from qualifying people quickly. They can change the way participants answer questions based on predesigned answers with a fast responding rate.

I participated in an evaluative survey through a small town company called Vonderhaar’s Catering in Reading, Ohio. I go to lunch there almost two times each week throughout the summer. They have great lunch special deals from 11-2 each weekday and they are very reasonable in price. I went in one day and when I got my lunch special, the cashier gave me a survey to fill out and said if I returned it, I would receive a free lunch. Since I eat there all the time, I was eager to fill out the form.

When I sat down to take a look at the survey, I found that it was a evaluative survey where Vonderhaar’s wanted me to answer some questions based on customer satisfaction. I’m assuming there was some bad talk at the time about new management of the store so the owners wanted to see what could be improved on, in order to raise customer experiences. The primary function of the survey was numerical based which gave Vonderhaar’s a quick way to see how their business is doing based on customer answers.

I answered the survey and took it back the next day and received my free meal coupon. From my personal perspective, the survey was quick and easy. I was able to finish it within five minutes and even received a free lunch from returning it. I honestly wouldn’t of filled out the survey if there was not the incentive of a free lunch. I’m glad I got to help out the deli by filling out the in-home survey.

For the deli conducting the survey, I believe their survey was what they needed to answer their management questions. Since the survey was handed to each customer that day, it was better than a mail survey because of the response rate, and better than a face to face survey because of the questions that needed to be answered. Although Vonderhaar’s may have lost some money from the free lunches, they gave customers incentive in order to have fast and reliable response rate.

In the end, the evaluative surveys are a great way, if done right, for a company to receive information from customers in order to figure out problems or find new insight. Surveys allow customers to give their purchase behaviors and their feelings on certain products and services.

Qualitative Research

Qualitative Research

Qualitative research is a great tool for companies to use when learning about their customers and how they affect their sales. It is used to gain an understanding of the thoughts of the customer and reasons for their decisions. This type of exploratory research provides understanding into a problem or helps to develop ideas to help a company in many different ways. Qualitative research is a great tool for companies to use but it can also come with many implications.

The potential for interviewer bias is defiantly a huge implication when companies are dealing with qualitative research. Customers chosen for a one-on-one interview or a focus group could come in with a biased opinion of the product or service without past knowledge or interaction. It’s hard to take input from a consumer when they are answering questions based off reaction. To help this, one can follow up the customers visits with survey research and confirmatory procedures.

Another implication that comes with qualitative research is the instability and imprecision consequent to small sample sizes. Its hard to get an accurate reading of a companies entire customer base from the information of a few customers. Visits aren’t useful for estimating the proportion of customers who have one or another reaction, but to find out that customers really have negative reactions about something. Qualitative research is for exploration and research, this is were this technique comes in hand and can help a company.

Above is a link to a journal on qualitative research and how affective it really is. I think it is a great source in explaining what qualitative research is good for and how to get information from customers. This journal is written by Mrs. Sofaer for an oral health care company seeing if qualitative research was the right choice for the company.

She explains how qualitative research is now viewed by social scientists as a flexible and cost effective method for exploring attitudes experiences and responses of non-random samples of people who fit a particular profile. She explains the pros but also says each type of qualitative research as its implications. For instance, when conducting a focus group, the company needs to carefully define what criteria each participant must meet. It takes a lot of thought to develop a screening tool that would eliminate individuals that aren’t right for the group. If this step isn’t properly taken correctly, all the research can be ineffective and set the company back.

In the end, Qualitative research is a great way to get information for companies on new ideas and past . Yes there are some implications but there are going to be implications on every type of market research. People are all different and when trying to get information from them, there are going to be problems. The best qualitative research remains wide open to surprises. Some companies even measure the effectiveness of their research by how much surprise they experience when they are researching for products or services.




Focus Groups

Focus Groups

A focus group is a diverse group of people that come together to participate in a guided discussion about a particular product before it is launched, or to provide feedback on something. Focus groups have many pros and cons in getting information from customers. There are many steps in conducting a focus group, below they are listed:



  • Try to identify relevant participants
  • Recruit participants to come
  • Arrange for logistics
  • Develop the questions
  • Arrive early and check room
  • Set up recording equipment-microphone in middle of table
  • Place name tags for each person in the group



  • Welcome and introduce the topic to participants
  • Offer Background info on topic
  • Explain the ground rules
  • Ask an Opening question
  • Find out who everyone is with a brief description
  • Make sure the pace of conversation stays on time
  • Moderator needs to have rapid ways to quickly get information from people



  • Ask each person to reflect with the overall discussion of the group
  • Turns to assistant moderator ( note taker) to give summary
  • The note taker turns and asks if anything was missed as she reads her notes
  • Thank the participants for coming


Throughout the video, Dr. Krueger gave many good tips regarding moderating a focus group. He definitely made it a point to encourage people to talk and express their opinions openly. Dick said that short pauses after each question allows the participants to reflect and process their thoughts. He also said to ask questions to each of the participants to get responses for everyone. As far as answering the questions, each participant will answer the questions differently. For the ramblers, Dr. Krueger said to redirect the question to another person if they take over the conversation. For the participants not talking, the moderator can look at the individual and call on them for their input. Finally, Dick said that it’s also good to use role-playing to get participants to act out the situation and to have them answer questions with fingers to get them more interactive.

I feel the most interesting thing about conducting a focus group is how the participants began to interact with each other and almost begin to run the group by themselves through communicating with each other. I feel like focus groups are definitely useful to gathering consumer thoughts and feelings. It gives the moderator the ability to get into the thoughts of each participant and have questions answered with truthful responses. The only thing I disliked about the focus group was the actual moderator himself. The most important piece to a focus group is the moderator and if he/she isn’t skilled in moving along the conversation, then the focus group won’t be as successful. Finally, I would change the way the focus group ended. I feel the second moderator could have been more involved in the discussion and offer input more often.