When engaging in research, it is essential to have a clear understanding from the outset what the study is trying to accomplish. That is, what the specific research question(s) is(are), and what data are necessary to collect to answer the research question(s). Otherwise, confusion typically ensues. One of the most fundamental considerations in conducting research is to determine what the primary unit that will be the subject of statistical analysis is, or should be. This is called the unit of analysis. Often, it is dictated by the data that are collected, rather than by a sound theoretical justification. Therefore, it is necessary to be clear as to what the unit of analysis should be before data collection. For example, in educational research, the unit of ...

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