If you have a new account but are having problems posting or verifying your account, please email us on [email protected] for help. Thanks :)
Hello All, This is just a friendly reminder to read the Forum Charter where you wish to post before posting in it. :)

# Questionnaire analysis. Is my use of n correct?

• 09-09-2018 12:04pm
Registered Users Posts: 576 ✭✭✭
Registered User

Hi,
I am a complete dummy with statistics as I never had to learn it for my undergrad or any other reason. I now find myself writing up a project for a distance learning Masters but am more or less left to my own devices and a tutor that's worse than useless at helping. So I have questionnaire results and am currently writing up in my Thesis and would be most grateful if someone could comment on whether my use of 'n' is correct in the question result below.
Sample size 90

ALWAYS 74.44% (77)
USUALLY 12.22% (11)
SOMETIMES 8.99% (8)
RARELY 4.44% (4)
NEVER 0% (0)

Question asked the respondents to indicate whether they are required to use VDUs as part of their duties. The results show that over 74% (n=77) of the sample always use VDUs, with the lower numbers being quite some distance behind at 12.22% (n=11), 8.99%, (n=8) and 4.44% (n=4).
All of the returns showed that in no case from the sample was there never a need to use VDUs

• Moderators, Category Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 47,099 CMod ✭✭✭✭
Category Moderator

batman1 wrote: »
Hi,
I am a complete dummy with statistics as I never had to learn it for my undergrad or any other reason. I now find myself writing up a project for a distance learning Masters but am more or less left to my own devices and a tutor that's worse than useless at helping. So I have questionnaire results and am currently writing up in my Thesis and would be most grateful if someone could comment on whether my use of 'n' is correct in the question result below.
Sample size 90

ALWAYS 74.44% (77)
USUALLY 12.22% (11)
SOMETIMES 8.99% (8)
RARELY 4.44% (4)
NEVER 0% (0)

Question asked the respondents to indicate whether they are required to use VDUs as part of their duties. The results show that over 74% (n=77) of the sample always use VDUs, with the lower numbers being quite some distance behind at 12.22% (n=11), 8.99%, (n=8) and 4.44% (n=4).
All of the returns showed that in no case from the sample was there never a need to use VDUs [/i]
Since big "N" is used to indicate the population you are attempting to represent and generalise your results, it follows that little "n" designates the sample. While your use of "n" above is not in error, it is a bit wordy from a reporting standpoint. I would recommend that you drop the "n" when reporting percentages to particular questions and just use the number within parentheses following the percentages; e.g., The results show that over 74% (77) of the sample always use...

When you are reporting how many total subjects replied to your survey, you may what to say that your population was N=___ and your sample size (those that replied to survey) was n=__.

Reader Note: Your use of colour for the reporting part of your above post may not be seen by all our readers. I would recommend that you use our default colour.

• Moderators, Category Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 47,099 CMod ✭✭✭✭
Category Moderator

Sample size 90

ALWAYS 74.44% (77)
USUALLY 12.22% (11)
SOMETIMES 8.99% (8)
RARELY 4.44% (4)
NEVER 0% (0)

Above you indicate that your sample size was 90. If I add the numbers of answers to your 5-point Likert scale above (77 + 11 + 8 + 4 + 0 = 100) it totals 100. How do you get 100 answers when your sample is only 90?

• Registered Users Posts: 576 ✭✭✭
Registered User

Apologies, that should be 67, not 77.

Another perhaps silly question to those in the know, what or how do I determine what 'N' is? I know what 'n' is as it's 90 in this case but I have no idea what 'N' might be.

• Moderators, Category Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 47,099 CMod ✭✭✭✭
Category Moderator

batman1 wrote: »
Apologies, that should be 67, not 77.

Another perhaps silly question to those in the know, what or how do I determine what 'N' is? I know what 'n' is as it's 90 in this case but I have no idea what 'N' might be.
Hi batman1. There are no "silly" questions. When researchers stop learning, they should go find something else to do as a career skill.

Cannot really identify your population without a bit more information. Here are a few questions, but certainly not all those that could be asked.

Questions. If your n = 90, how did you identify these 90 subjects? Where did they come from? How did you access them? Were the 90 a sample of a larger population (N)? How many surveys did you first send out? 90 or more? If more than 90, how many? How did you send out your surveys? Mail? Class distribution? Online? How? If online, was it a convenience sample (survey posted on one or more sites, and not sent to specific email addresses or other forms of subject identification?