What is the difference between observer bias and actor–observer bias?

Observer bias occurs when the researcher’s assumptions, views, or preconceptions influence what they see and record in a study, while actor–observer bias refers to situations where respondents attribute internal factors (e.g., bad character) to justify other’s behavior and external factors (difficult circumstances) to justify the same behavior in themselves.

What is the difference between stratified and cluster sampling?

Stratified and cluster sampling may look similar, but bear in mind that groups created in cluster sampling are heterogeneous, so the individual characteristics in the cluster vary. In contrast, groups created in stratified sampling are homogeneous, as units share characteristics.

Relatedly, in cluster sampling you randomly select entire groups and include all units of each group in your sample. However, in stratified sampling, you select some units of all groups and include them in your sample. In this way, both methods can ensure that your sample is representative of the target population.

What is the definition of social desirability bias?

Social desirability bias is a type of response bias that occurs when survey respondents provide answers according to society’s expectations, rather than their own beliefs or experiences.

It is especially likely to occur in self-report questionnaires, as well as in any type of behavioral research, particularly if the participants know they’re being observed. This research bias can distort your results, leading to over-reporting of socially desirable behaviors or attitudes and under-reporting of socially undesirable behaviors or attitudes.

How can I minimize observer bias in my research?

You can use several tactics to minimize observer bias.

  • Use masking (blinding) to hide the purpose of your study from all observers.
  • Triangulate your data with different data collection methods or sources.
  • Use multiple observers and ensure interrater reliability.
  • Train your observers to make sure data is consistently recorded between them.
  • Standardize your observation procedures to make sure they are structured and clear.