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NCJ Number: 50180 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: GRANDMA MOSES AND THE 'CORRUPTION' OF DATA
Journal: EVALUATION QUARTERLY  Volume:2  Issue:3  Dated:(AUGUST 1978)  Pages:363-373
Author(s): N COCHRAN
Corporate Author: Sage Publications, Inc
United States of America
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 11
Sponsoring Agency: Northwestern University
Evanston, IL 60201
Sage Publications, Inc
Thousand Oaks, CA 91320
US Dept of Health, Education, and Welfare
Rockville, MD 20857
Grant Number: 5T22-MH00180
Sale Source: Northwestern University
Psychology Dept
Evanston, IL 60201
United States of America
Type: Program/Project Evaluation
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THE RECIPROCAL RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN DATA AND THE EVENTS MEASURED BY DATA IS EXAMINED, WITH EMPHASIS ON IMPLICATIONS FOR PROGRAM EVALUATION.
Abstract: DATA REACTIVITY REFERS TO THE EFFECTS THAT THE PRODUCTION OF DATA HAS UPON THE SITUATION MEASURED BY THE DATA. FOR EVALUATION, A PARTICULARLY SIGNIFICANT ASPECT OF DATA REACTIVITY IS THAT SOCIAL INDICATORS AND THE PROCESSES THEY REFLECT ARE CORRUPTED OR DISTORTED UNDER THE PRESSURE OF USE. DISTORTION OF DATA IS CAUSED BY THE PURPOSEFUL, GOAL-ORIENTED ACTIVITY OF PEOPLE WHO PRODUCE DATA, AS WELL AS BY ATTEMPTS TO CHEAT OR MANIPULATE THE SOCIAL SERVICE DELIVERY SYSTEM. PARTICIPANTS IN THE MEASUREMENT PROCESS WILL SUPPLY INFORMATION AS NEEDED, SUPPLY OTHER INFORMATION WHEN NEEDS CHANGE, AND FUNCTION AT MORE THAN ONE LEVEL OF COMMUNICATION IN ORDER TO GET THE SYSTEM TO WORK FOR THEM. WHEREAS EVALUATORS REGARD DATA AS STATIC DESCRIPTIONS, THE PEOPLE WHO PRODUCE THE DATA REGARD THE DATA AS TOOLS. FAILURE TO RECOGNIZE THIS DIFFERENCE IN PERSPECTIVE, PERHAPS ATTRIBUTABLE TO AN OVERRELIANCE ON POSITIVISM IN THE SOCIAL SCIENCES, SUGGESTS ADVERSE CONSEQUENCES FOR PROGRAM EVALUATION. ALTERNATIVES TO THE TRADITIONAL APPROACH TO ASSESSING IMPACTS AND ACCUMULATING POLICY-RELEVANT DATA SHOULD TAKE INTO ACCOUNT THE NOTION OF DATA AS AN EVENT. SUCH APPROACHES COULD INCLUDE LEGITIMIZING SOCIAL PROCESSES THROUGH THE SELECTION OF INDICATORS, USING DATA TO INCREASE SELF-KNOWLEDGE, AND STUDYING DATA DISTORTION AS A SOCIAL PHENOMENON IN ITS OWN RIGHT. A LIST OF REFERENCES IS INCLUDED. (LKM)
Index Term(s): Data collections; Evaluation; Program evaluation
Note: AN EARLIER VERSION OF THIS PAPER WAS PRESENTED AT THE AMERICAN PSYCHOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION ANNUAL CONVENTION, SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA, AUGUST 29, 1977
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=50180

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