Which is NOT true? A) Garbage-In-Garbage-Out (GIGO) principle applies to the collection of either primary or secondary data. B) Secondary data are always reliable and unbiased. C) Data sources are...

Which is NOT true?

A) Garbage-In-Garbage-Out (GIGO) principle applies to the collection of either primary or secondary data.

B) Secondary data are always reliable and unbiased.

C) Data sources are the carriers of data/information needed to answer the research question.

D) Primary data are original data collected specifically for the research problem at hand.

Asked on by sta112

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

I assume from the wording of the question that only one of these options is not true.  If that is the case, Option B is the best answer.  This statement is clearly not true.

Option D is clearly true.  This is the exact definition of primary data.  Primary data are collected specifically by the researcher for their own purposes while secondary data are data that have already been collected by other researchers.  A survey that you create and administer on your own yields primary data.  A survey whose results you look up in someone else’s journal article is secondary data.

Similarly, Option C is a true statement.  When you are trying to answer a research question, you look for data sources.  These are the sources that have the information that you need.

Option A and Option B cannot both be true as they contradict one another.  Option A implies that secondary data can be “garbage” if they are obtained as the result of “garbage” surveys.  If secondary data can be garbage, then clearly they are not always reliable and unbiased.  We know that researchers can make mistakes and do bad research.  Therefore, we cannot assume that all secondary data (the fruits of other people’s research) are going to be of high quality.  This makes Option B the correct answer.

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