Biased sampling in dissertation

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polo101e
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Hi all

My friend is currently working on her MBA dissertation. Her sampling method is flawed and produced some very biased result. (Using roughly less than 20% of the population to represent the whole, basically choosing only the elite and use their opinion to represent the whole population.) The deadline is coming in and she probably doesn't have enough time to make all the changes to fix this problem.

How likely is it that the marker will notice? ( I am not a MBA student, but I took notice right away. But her proofreader did not.) Would she fail if this error is spotted ? Does it depend on university to university ? Will the covid-19 situation work in her favour ?

Many Thanks
Last edited by polo101e; 7 months ago
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mnot
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(Original post by polo101e)
Hi all

My friend is currently working on her MBA dissertation. Her sampling method is flawed and produced some very biased result. (Using roughly less than 20% of the population to represent the whole, basically choosing only the elite and use their opinion to represent the whole population.) The deadline is coming in and she probably doesn't have enough time to make all the changes to fix this problem.

How likely is it that the marker will notice? ( I am not a MBA student, but I took notice right away. But her proofreader did not.) Would she fail if this error is spotted ? Does it depend on university to university ? Will the covid-19 situation work in her favour ?

Many Thanks
Its really hard to say how noticeable it is or how big an issue it is without reading the report.

I would at least prepare a defence for this at the viva.

I doubt she would fail it, it might impact the marks. (If the whole methodology is flawed it could have a larger impact), if its just the results then perhaps less so.

Of course the mark scheme and examiner will have an impact.
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PhoenixFortune
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(Original post by polo101e)
Hi all

My friend is currently working on her MBA dissertation. Her sampling method is flawed and produced some very biased result. (Using roughly less than 20% of the population to represent the whole, basically choosing only the elite and use their opinion to represent the whole population.) The deadline is coming in and she probably doesn't have enough time to make all the changes to fix this problem.

How likely is it that the marker will notice? ( I am not a MBA student, but I took notice right away. But her proofreader did not.) Would she fail if this error is spotted ? Does it depend on university to university ? Will the covid-19 situation work in her favour ?

Many Thanks
I would say that it's important that she writes in her discussion about any flaws to her method, why they are flaws, and what she would do differently next time. Obvious flaws that are not addressed will mean that the marker can't give marks there. At this stage, she would not be expected to redo anything, but she needs to ensure that the marker knows what she knows about her research.
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polo101e
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(Original post by mnot)
Its really hard to say how noticeable it is or how big an issue it is without reading the report.

I would at least prepare a defence for this at the viva.

I doubt she would fail it, it might impact the marks. (If the whole methodology is flawed it could have a larger impact), if its just the results then perhaps less so.

Of course the mark scheme and examiner will have an impact.
Due to the covid situation, there will not be a viva. I believe the methodology certainly flawed, as her finding completely excluded any non-tertiary educated participants. The topic is a study of the whole population.
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polo101e
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(Original post by PhoenixFortune)
I would say that it's important that she writes in her discussion about any flaws to her method, why they are flaws, and what she would do differently next time. Obvious flaws that are not addressed will mean that the marker can't give marks there. At this stage, she would not be expected to redo anything, but she needs to ensure that the marker knows what she knows about her research.
She does not intend to change her discussion, but only mention that she took notice of this in her limitation session.
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mnot
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(Original post by polo101e)
Due to the covid situation, there will not be a viva. I believe the methodology certainly flawed, as her finding completely excluded any non-tertiary educated participants. The topic is a study of the whole population.
What I mean was,
If the methodology principle is sound and its a case of poor data collection or if the whole design of the project was fundamentally flawed.

Regardless she is where she is.

I would take PhoenixFortunes advice and bring it up in the discussion and how it could be mitigated and changes you would make if you repeated the project.
Doing so would show critical thought and then you can re-bring this up in the future work section after the conclusions.
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polo101e
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(Original post by mnot)
What I mean was,
If the methodology principle is sound and its a case of poor data collection or if the whole design of the project was fundamentally flawed.

Regardless she is where she is.

I would take PhoenixFortunes advice and bring it up in the discussion and how it could be mitigated and changes you would make if you repeated the project.
Doing so would show critical thought and then you can re-bring this up in the future work section after the conclusions.
Thank you very much for the suggestion, I will try to pass this on to her, but I highly doubt she is willing to make any changes.
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PhoenixFortune
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(Original post by polo101e)
She does not intend to change her discussion, but only mention that she took notice of this in her limitation session.
She will probably not gain as many marks if she doesn't fully elaborate on her project's limitations, but I guess it's up to her. Why do you think she is reticent to make changes?
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polo101e
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(Original post by PhoenixFortune)
She will probably not gain as many marks if she doesn't fully elaborate on her project's limitations, but I guess it's up to her. Why do you think she is reticent to make changes?
She had been struggling throughout, and she is burnt out by this paper already. The deadline is in a few days, which mean she will be very stressed and time pressed. I suggested to her to change at least some arguments in the discussion, but she would rather take her chances with the teacher letting her off with this error by simply mentioning it in the limitation session.

Also her bottom line is passing, and she will be satisfied if she pass.
Last edited by polo101e; 7 months ago
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Helloworld_95
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Dissertations by no means have to be perfect, it's pretty much expected that out of a handful of students, one will have something go badly wrong, or there will be some massive limitation which makes the research effectively useless. The way this is acceptable is that you're allowed to explain why that was the case, what you would have done in hindsight, what you would have done if things went ok, what can be done in the future, and those things will get you the same marks as if everything went right.
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polo101e
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Thank you very much, I am also wondering if the data collected is biased, so will the findings and discussion. Will each session be graded independently ? Or will they consider errors that carried forward ?
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Helloworld_95
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(Original post by polo101e)
Thank you very much, I am also wondering if the data collected is biased, so will the findings and discussion. Will each session be graded independently ? Or will they consider errors that carried forward ?
Errors aren't carried forward.
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