If you’re about to start academic research, you are likely to receive advice from all angles, and among these include the need to avoid bias in your research. Bias is basically an act during which the researcher tends to influence the process of their investigation, and this can be intentional or unintentional. One of the main causes of poor validity in research is due to research bias.
This is a huge obstacle that researchers face, and it influences the accuracy and credibility of their research outcomes. By simply allowing personal beliefs to influence have outcomes are obtained, the first principle of research, which is impartiality, is already missed out on.
The big question is whether researchers can avoid research bias or not. Continue reading to find out more about how you can deal with bias in research.
Evaluating Bias in Research
The extent to which bias occurs in research depends on the level of susceptibility of our personal emotions to the research. This implies that research in medicine or physics are not as susceptible to bias as research in social studies. Fields like politics, education, religion, and sexuality usually have a higher tendency to influence the procedure that the researcher use in obtaining their research findings.
For example, a researcher that is from a western and non-Islamic country will have his own opinion about women wearing a burqa. This can only bring a bias in research around this field and consequently reduce impartiality. Dealing with statistics is not always susceptible to bias compared to the tendency in qualitative research.
In qualitative research, it’s a lot easier to make an interview, measurement, and selection bias. Irrespective of the topic or research, it’s important to avoid the falling trap of research bias. The good thing is that it’s very easy to avoid falling into this trap.
How to Reduce Bias in Research
Here are a few ways you can avoid bias in research:
- Get to know yourself: Before any research, it’s important to first study the situation and determine what you want to achieve and why you should achieve it. Also, be sure to determine if your personal beliefs can influence your resolutions in the research. In addition, you’ll also need to determine the type of biases that can compromise your research and write about them.
- Figure out what you don’t expect: Another mistake people make is thinking that what they don’t want to achieve is bias. One way to recognize your bias is to consider all possible outcomes, including what you expect and what you don’t expect.
- Avoid interview bias: Interview results usually play a vital role in determining the outcome of academic research. When you ask questions, it’s important to ensure that you are not directing your questions such that you get the answers you want.
- Consider measurement bias whenever you check interview bias. It’s also important to check the group of people you interview. Do not question only a particular group but try to question as many groups as you can.
- There’s also a need to increase the range of possibilities that you expect from the research. You should also ensure that you are able to account for different variables, ideas, and facts while you gather your findings.
- Your vocabulary is also an important aspect not to ignore, and for this, it’s best to ensure that you choose your words wisely. This is important when writing and also when asking questions. Always avoid the use of ambiguous words in your research so that they are easy to comprehend and understandable.