Number 1 When collecting data for any research the following

| September 2, 2019

Number 1 When collecting data for any research the following are examples of common demographic data that is obtained: age, sex, race, socio-economic status and employment status (Connelly, 2013). Demographic data is important as it is useful to compare to the larger statistic in a study, for example, of the 89 nurses surveyed, 23 (26%) were male and 66 (74%) were female. Connelly states that “a reader should question the credibility of a study that does not at least somewhat match the sample population; no sample is going to be a perfect match” (2013). Polit & Beck state the collecting of demographics for a research study is “critical in interpreting the results and understanding the population to whom the findings can be generalized” (pg. 266). Gathering demographic data is also important as it establishes the norms of a study (Polit & Beck, 2016, 349). In addition to comparing the results of a sample to a larger population obtaining demographic data is also useful to assist a reader to “draw inferences about the study’s external validity” (Polit & Beck, 2016, pg 371). Number 2 Demographics are important in communicating information about the study sample (Polit & Beck, 2017). Inferences cannot be draw about the external validity of a research study without having an understanding of who the participants were. Generalizability is unable to be determined if one does not know characteristics of key demographic data. For example, could the same results for a study be generalized for all nurses if there were both LVNs and RNs in a study? If a study was done regarding RN salary, would it matter if the nurse was in California or the midwest or eastern states? Is age, gender or ethnicity ever a factor in studies? The answer to these questions shows that demographics does matter in a significant way. Demographics can be used to determine if two groups are comparable (Polit & Beck, 2017). In phenomenologic samples, which looks at experiencing a phenomenon, different demographics may be sought due to sharing of a common experience (Polit & Beck, 2017). Demographics may be used differently but specifying demographic data is important for interpretation and generalization (external validity) of a study. Just as in nursing, we need to understand the problem before we can find a solution. So, it is in research. We must assess and understand the type of data before it can be interpreted and understood. Number 3 According to techopedia (2017), demographic data refers to data that is statistically socio-economic in nature such as population, race, income, education and employment, which represent specific geographic locations are often associated with time. Research data are pieces of information obtained in a study (Polit & Beck, 2012). Demographic data is important especially when you want to research about a specific community and for classification. The true knowledge will come from people in that specific demographic. If you want to learn about a specific group and perhaps find a way to yield your research in a specific way, demographics are key. An example of how demographics are used, is in jury selection. When an attorney wants their case won, they selectively hand choose the jury based on specific demographics. Another example is in research, when studying the prevalence of breast cancer in middle-aged Asian women, they would use demographic data close to age, health history and nationality. All data can be classified and demographics is especially important because it helps narrow down substantial data. Number 4 Researchers routinely collect demographic data to describe the sample of people or organizations in their studies and this data is often depicted in a narrative or table format, with frequencies used for qualitative and quantitative studies (Connelly, 2013). “The population of interest needs to be carefully considered in planning and reporting a study” therefore “if the sample is not representative of the population, the study’s external validity and construct validity are at risk” (Polit & Beck, 2016, p. 264). According to Polit & Beck (2016), major demographic information is very important in the research process. They “advise gathering data about participants’ age, gender, race or ethnicity, and education (or income)” because it “is critical in interpreting results and understanding the population to whom findings can be generalized” (Polit & Beck, 2016, p. 264). When conducting research, “demographics can be used to analyze the data, such as seeing if men and women or older and younger people have different responses” (Connelly, 2013, p. 270). In experimental studies, demographics allow the comparison of the control group with the experimental group. Demographics also “provide information for synthesizing the research of a number of studies and for secondary analysis so that gaps in existing research literature can be identified” (Connelly, 2013, p. 269). Similar to the government census is important to our country, obtaining demographic data is important to research. The government census ensures that each community gets the right number of representatives in government. Because representation is based on population, an up-to-date tally is essential. According to PSU (2009), the annual census also helps with the equitable distribution of public, federal and state funding for things like educational programs, health care, law enforcement and highways is allocated in part based on population. “Equitably distributing the billions of dollars of public money requires up-to-date population data” (PSU, 2009). …
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