Sources of Method Bias in Social Science Research and Recommendations on How to Control It

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Abstract

Despite the concern that has been expressed about potential method biases, and the pervasiveness of research settings with the potential to produce them, there is disagreement about whether they really are a problem for researchers in the behavioral sciences. Therefore, the purpose of this review is to explore the current state of knowledge about method biases. First, we explore the meaning of the terms “method” and “method bias” and then we examine whether method biases influence all measures equally. Next, we review the evidence of the effects that method biases have on individual measures and on the covariation between different constructs. Following this, we evaluate the procedural and statistical remedies that have been used to control method biases and provide recommendations for minimizing method bias.

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