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Secondary Data Analysis

  • By: James Robinson & Yan Tian
  • In: Encyclopedia of Health Communication
  • Edited by: Teresa L. Thompson
  • Subject:Public Health Education & Health Promotion, Health Psychology, Health Communication

When a researcher designs a study and gathers data to answer the specific research questions and hypotheses posited within that investigation, that type of research is called primary data analysis. In primary data analysis, the researcher generates new or original data that are intended to be gathered in such a way that they allow the researcher to answer specific research questions or test specific hypotheses.

When researchers analyze a dataset that they did not generate themselves, and that dataset has been analyzed by one or more previous researchers, that is called secondary data analysis. When researchers conduct secondary data analysis they are often repurposing or reusing data—but they typically analyze the data in a new or different way. Examples of secondary data analysis abound. Economists ...

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