In conducting research, being virtual can lead to faulty conclusions. This phenomenon is conveniently referred to as bias. Researcher bias happens when someone conducting a study influences the research findings based on their own expected outcomes. During my program I learned two new things about researcher bias. First, I learned that that the bias can happen intentionally a phenomenon known as an intentional research bias. For instance, an intentional researcher bias might be conducting a survey which poses the question “What is the appropriate self-management for diabetes” and offers choices of lifestyle changes and sleeping. Here the researcher intentionally creates a survey where there is only one reasonable answer. Secondly I learned about unintentional researcher bias which occurs as a due to lack of experience and understanding or from poor research design. For example a psychologists who wants to learn about children behavior and fills a room with toys, art supplies and a television then asks a sample population of children to go in and spend some time. Although the privileges which the psychologist provide are likely to be things which children enjoy, their choices are limited and the psychologist may not learn the exact behavior of the children.
Publication bias occurs when studies with positive results are likely to be published and they tend to be pushed faster compared to studies with negative findings. It is caused by withholding results from publication which may be intentional or unintentional. Over the course of my learning I have learned that publication bias may also involve citation bias which involves finding literature sources by scanning reference from published literature. I also learned that exclusion barriers also includes language bias which involves exclusion of foreign language studies in an individual’s analysis.
This new information about researcher bias and publication bias affected my opinion about the research processes. This new information broadened my knowledge base about how to accurately and correctly interpret the information and to study data with outside influence or bias.