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Raw data

When researchers collect data for their studies, they have to start from somewhere. And that somewhere is raw data. When carrying out research, collecting raw data is inevitable, which can be either qualitative or quantitative. Raw data is important in research because it is later organised, analysed, and interpreted to determine if the research findings support the hypothesis.

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When researchers collect data for their studies, they have to start from somewhere. And that somewhere is raw data. When carrying out research, collecting raw data is inevitable, which can be either qualitative or quantitative. Raw data is important in research because it is later organised, analysed, and interpreted to determine if the research findings support the hypothesis.

  • We will start by looking at how raw data in research is used and the raw data meaning.
  • Moving on, we will apply some raw data examples to identify uses of raw data, such as how researchers may convert raw data from standard form to decimal form and how they may be used to find arithmetic means.
  • And to finish off, we will look at a sample raw data example to learn how raw data can sometimes be used to make estimations.

Raw Data, Machine creating data results, VaiaRaw data is converted through analysis into meaningful results, freepik.com/storyset

Raw Data in Research

Raw data is essential in psychology research. Researchers use raw data to calculate descriptive statistics, which describe and summarise the data, helping the researcher and reader visualise the collected raw data and present it more clearly.

Raw Data Meaning

Raw data is data that has been collected from the researcher during research that has not yet been processed.

Raw data can be collected regardless of whether it is:

  • Quantitative – numerical data

  • Qualitative – non-numerical data

What is the difference between raw data and primary data?

Raw data is data collected during research that has not yet been processed. Primary data is data the researcher has collected themself from their experiment cited in a study. They are very similar.

Uses of Raw Data in Research

There are many uses of raw data in research. Some of these include:

  • Organising data that can be later interpreted and analysed.

  • Making estimations of what the researcher can expect to find from the results.

  • Comparing data values between conditions/groups in experiments to identify notable differences.

  • Constructing tables, graphs or charts, such as;

    • Frequency tables, bar charts, histograms and/or pie charts.

Raw Data in Research

When collecting data for research, raw data is always collected. This data needs to be organised to be later analysed and interpreted by recording the data on a table. When designing raw data recording tables, the researcher needs to keep in mind several important things:

  • All of the data collected needs to be somehow recorded onto the table.

  • The researcher needs to consider how to record the data. For example, the data may be coded or tallied. The purpose of this is to make it easier to analyse data later.

An example of coded data used in research is M for male participants and F for female participants.

Raw Data Examples – Standard Form to Decimal Form

Below you can see an example data table. This table summarises the favourite colours of students. The raw data is written in standard form. The standard form is data recorded by tallying the number of responses of students who identified the specific colour as their favourite colour.

RedOrange YellowPink Green Purple Total
42162520

The researcher may use this data to convert it from standard form into decimal form. To change raw data from standard to decimal form, the researcher must divide each category's frequency by the total number of responses, as shown in the example below.

RedOrangeYellowPinkGreenPurpleTotal
42162520
4/20 = 0.22/20 = 0.11/20 = 0.056/20 = 0.32/20 = 0.15/20 = 0.251

Raw data may be converted from standard into decimal form when doing some calculations. For example, researchers should do this when constructing a pie chart but alter it to reflect 360°.

Raw Data Examples – Finding Arithmetic Means

Researchers can also analyse raw data in their research. For example, they can use it to find the arithmetic means of the data.

The arithmetic mean (or simply the mean) is a statistic used to find the average of a dataset. To calculate the arithmetic mean, all values must be added together and divided by the number of values in the dataset.

The raw data table below shows participant responses to the question, 'Have you been experiencing more pain than last month?' after taking a drug to help relieve pain. The response was based on a 1–10 Likert scale; 1 represents less pain, and 10 represents more pain. Researchers recorded the participants' responses in the raw data table below.

The researcher wanted to measure the average responses of the two groups (drugs versus placebo). Below you can see how this can be calculated and interpreted:

Drug (experimental) groupPlacebo (control) group
17
15
36
55
28
28
14
36
26

The average of the experimental group is: 1 + 1 + 3 + 5 + 2 + 2 + 1 + 3 + 2 = 20. We then divide this by 9 = 2.22

The figure has been rounded down to two significant figures.

The average of the control group is: 7 + 5 + 6 + 5 + 8 + 8 + 4 + 6 + 6 = 55/ 9 = 6.11

The figure has been rounded down to two significant figures.

The results can be interpreted as, on average, the experimental group experienced less pain than the control group. Researchers can then use further Statistical Tests to measure the significance of these results etc.

Raw Data – Sample Raw Data

When collecting raw data in psychology research, it is good to round the data values to two significant figures. There should not be more than two numerical values after a decimal point in data figures. Whether the figure should be rounded up or down determines these numbers. The numbers should be:

  • Rounded up if the third digit after the decimal point is above 5.
  • Rounded down if the third digit after the decimal point is below 5.
An example of raw data that should be rounded up to two significant figures is 0.887; this would be rounded up to 0.89.And an example of raw data that should be rounded down to two significant figures is 0.883; this would be rounded down to 0.88.

Researchers sometimes use raw data to make estimations. This is occasionally used when a psychologist wants to make a quick approximation/estimation of the data that has been collected.

Calculating something such as 487 x 9876 would be an example of using raw data to estimate, in which the researcher may calculate 500 x 10,000.

By making estimations, the researchers can roughly estimate what they can expect to find from their results.


Raw data - Key takeaways

  • Raw data is data that has been collected from the researcher during research that has not yet been processed.
  • Raw data is essential in research as this will later be organised, analysed and interpreted to identify if the research findings support the hypothesis.
  • There are many uses of raw data in research, such as:
    • Organising data that can be later interpreted and analysed.

    • Making estimations of what the researcher can expect to find from the results.

    • Comparing data values between conditions/groups in experiments to identify notable differences.

    • Constructing tables, graphs, or charts.

Frequently Asked Questions about Raw data

Raw data is data that has been collected from the researcher during research that has not yet been processed. 

The raw data format depends on the variable that has been collected. For example, age would be written as a whole number, gender may be M or F, or small/ large numbers may be written in standard or decimal form. 

Raw data is data collected during research that has not yet been processed. Primary data is data the researcher has collected themself from their experiment cited in a study. Raw data is a form of primary data. 

There are many uses of raw data in research, e,g, for organising data that can be later interpreted and analysed, making estimations, comparing values and constructing tables, graphs or charts.

A list of all the test scores students received on the last test is an example of raw data. 

Final Raw data Quiz

Raw data Quiz - Teste dein Wissen

Question

What is raw data?

Show answer

Answer

Raw data is the unprocessed data that is gathered in a study from participants.

Show question

Question

What are the three components a raw data table has?

Show answer

Answer

A title that describes what the table is about, labels for the different parts of the table, and any unit measurements such as millilitres (ml) and grams (g) should be put next to the labels.

Show question

Question

What is 9,000,000 in standard from?


Show answer

Answer

9 x 106.

Show question

Question

What is 0.0005 in standard from?


Show answer

Answer

5 x 10-4.

Show question

Question

What is 6/10000 in decimal form?


Show answer

Answer

0.0006.

Show question

Question

How many significant figures does 0.367 have?


Show answer

Answer

Three.

Show question

Question

What are significant figures?


Show answer

Answer

A significant figure is the number of digits within a number that is relevant.

Show question

Question

If we want to make a rough estimation of data collected, to what significant figure are the numbers to be calculated rounded to?


Show answer

Answer

One significant figure.

Show question

Question

What is 4/100 in decimal form?


Show answer

Answer

0.04.

Show question

Question

How many significant figures does 0.2 have? 


Show answer

Answer

One significant figure.

Show question

Question

What is raw data? 

Show answer

Answer

Raw data is essentially data collected from the researcher during research that has not yet been processed. 

Show question

Question

Can raw data be qualitative? 

Show answer

Answer

Yes.

Show question

Question

Why is raw data important in psychology research? 

Show answer

Answer

Raw data is essential in research as this will later be organised, analysed and interpreted to identify if the research findings support the hypothesis. 

Show question

Question

What are some of the uses of raw data in psychology research? 

Show answer

Answer

There are many uses of raw data in research, some of these include:

  • organising data that can be later interpreted and analysed 
  • used to make estimations of what the researcher can expect to find from the results 
  • comparing data values between conditions/groups in experiments to identify notable differences 
  • to construct tables, graphs and/or charts

Show question

Question

What essential things must the researcher remember when designing recording tables for raw data? 

Show answer

Answer

When designing recording tables for raw data in research, essential things for researchers to keep in mind are:

  • all of the data collected needs to be somehow recorded onto the table
  • the researcher needs to consider how data should be recorded.

Show question

Question

Which of the following is an example of coded data? 

Show answer

Answer

M.

Show question

Question

Which of the following is an example of tallied data? 


Show answer

Answer

17.

Show question

Question

How should 0.983 be rounded into two significant figures? 

Show answer

Answer

0.983 should be rounded down to 0.98 - we round down as the third figure after the decimal point is 3. 

Show question

Question

How should 0.577 be rounded into two significant figures? 


Show answer

Answer

0.577 should be rounded up to 0.58 - as 7 is above the threshold for rounding up (5).

Show question

Question

How can the standard form of raw data be converted into decimal form? 

Show answer

Answer

To convert the standard form of raw data into decimal form, each category's frequency needs to be divided by the total number of responses.

Show question

Question

What type of chart/graph requires a researcher to convert raw data from standard form to decimal form? 

Show answer

Answer

Pie chart.

Show question

Question

What type of statistic describes/summarises raw data? 

Show answer

Answer

Descriptive statistics.

Show question

Question

Can researchers make estimations from raw data?

Show answer

Answer

Yes.

Show question

Question

Can raw data be used to construct tables, graphs or charts?

Show answer

Answer

Yes.

Show question

Question

Can we make inferences from descriptive statistics? 

Show answer

Answer

No, this should only be made from statistical tests. 

Show question

Question

Round 487 to the nearest 100.

Show answer

Answer

500.

Show question

Question

Round 447 to the nearest 100.

Show answer

Answer

400.

Show question

Question

Is it acceptable for a researcher to publish their findings as 0.47589?

Show answer

Answer

No, because it should be rounded to two decimal places.

Show question

Question

Which of the following is an example of raw data?

Show answer

Answer

Participant's responses.

Show question

Question

Is the following statement true or false? Headings should always be included in tables.

Show answer

Answer

True.

Show question

Question

Suppose a researcher conducted a study on stress levels before and after exercise. The researcher produced a table with three columns. What headings could the researcher use for each column?

Show answer

Answer

  1. Participant number.
  2. Stress level before exercise. 
  3. Stress level after exercise.

Show question

Question

Raw data tables provide an          of the results collected. 

Show answer

Answer

overview

Show question

Question

What is 7 x 106 in standard form? 

Show answer

Answer

7,000,000.

Show question

Question

What is 2 x 10-5?

Show answer

Answer

0.00002.

Show question

Question

8.5 x   . What is the missing number?

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Answer

10.

Show question

Question

8.5 x 10   = 85,000. What is the missing number?

Show answer

Answer

4.

Show question

Question

How many significant figures does 0.3 have? 

Show answer

Answer

1.

Show question

Question

Is 0 considered a significant figure? 

Show answer

Answer

No.

Show question

Question

Can negative figures have significant values? 

Show answer

Answer

Yes.

Show question

Question

Estimate 567 x 28.94.

Show answer

Answer

600 x 30 = 18,000.

Show question

Question

Is the following statement true or false? The data format is always the same, regardless of the nature of the data.

Show answer

Answer

False.

Show question

Question

What are the three rules to determine the number of significant figures?

Show answer

Answer

  1. Non-zero digits are always significant.
  2. Any zeros between significant deficits are always significant.
  3. Zeros on the right of a decimal number are not significant.

Show question

Question

Is the following statement true or false?: Significant figures are related to the standard form.

Show answer

Answer

True.

Show question

Question

Which of the following statement is correct?

Show answer

Answer

1.7364 is rounded to 1.74.

Show question

Test your knowledge with multiple choice flashcards

What is 9,000,000 in standard from?

How many significant figures does 0.367 have?

What is 4/100 in decimal form?

Next

Flashcards in Raw data44

Start learning

What is raw data?

Raw data is the unprocessed data that is gathered in a study from participants.

What are the three components a raw data table has?

A title that describes what the table is about, labels for the different parts of the table, and any unit measurements such as millilitres (ml) and grams (g) should be put next to the labels.

What is 9,000,000 in standard from?


9 x 106.

What is 0.0005 in standard from?


5 x 10-4.

What is 6/10000 in decimal form?


0.0006.

How many significant figures does 0.367 have?


Three.

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