Recognizing and Avoiding Bias

Week 1, Discussion 2
Research Theory, 8100Z

Scenario 2: Recognizing and Avoiding Bias
A critical first step for students, novice researchers and even the most “seasoned” researchers in all disciplines is understanding, recognizing and minimizing biases when conducting qualitative and quantitative research (more so, qualitative research).   As with any type of research, it is it is far easier to become attached to a certain viewpoint, jeopardizing impartiality therefore questioning, interviewing and experimenting must be handled with caution so as not to misappropriate findings or skew the results of the study.
The main point to remember with bias is that, in many disciplines, it is inherently unavoidable because we, as humans, feel strongly about many issues.   Experimental design involves understanding inherent biases and minimizing its effects (Shuttleworth, 2009).   The same holds true for Scenario 2.   The researcher has every right to be disgruntled about his brother’s unfortunate death while serving his country in a worn-torn country; however the researcher should understand that bias will be a factor BUT subjectivity must be pushed aside with focus on objectivity.   In the same vein, I would caution the researcher to understand internal feelings as long as the researcher can honestly show they understand and are aware of their heightened levels of subjectivity and have tried their best to lessen the impact.
In an effort to maintain objectivity and remove bias from the literature review, I would caution the researcher to remove stereotypical biases and generalizations by understanding that not all Muslims and Middle Easterners are radicals and want to harm others.  
Creswell, J. (2009). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
Shuttleworth, M. (2009).   Research bias and experiments. Retrieved from...