Dissertation Data Collection Methods

No matter what topic you have selected for your dissertation, you would need to collect data at some point or another. However, you must remember that the data you would be collecting should fit both your questions as well as your research design. Here are some of the dissertation data collection methods that you should use to collect data for your dissertation.


This method of data collection involves questioning a certain number of participants and getting answers to a given set of questions. Questionnaires or interviews are the most common types of self-report. However, the limitation of this data collection method is that the accuracy of the responses cannot be measured. There are also possibilities that some participants are likely to have lied.

Physiological Measures

You could collect data through physiological measures such as polygraph tests, ECG, EEG, fMRI, breathing rate, CAT scan, etc. These methods of data collection are highly effective since they are accurate, quantifiable, and measurable. However, in case these methods are used as secondary measures of latent constructs. In such cases, they may not be entirely accurate. For instance, a person with a high heart rate could even be perceived as being nervous or anxious. However, it is possible that the person has just walked up the staircase.


This method of data collection involves the observation and recording of the different types of behaviours. Data collection using this method is accurate and quantifiable. However, this method of data collection is also not entirely free of errors. Since the person carrying out the task of observing the others cannot do anything more than just observe, he or she cannot collect data regarding the beliefs, thoughts, attitudes, and covert behaviours. Another problem with using this method of data collection is that once a person is subject to observation, his or her behaviour changes. Every method has its own advantages and limitations. You should, therefore, select the method of data collection you want after understanding them fully.

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