Springer’s periodic conference proceedings HCII 2020. Human aspects of IT for the aged population: Technology and society published a paper co-authored by Mireia Fernández-Ardèvol, Andrea Rosales, and Francisca Morey titled “Methods matter: Assessment of the characteristics of a sample to analyze digital practices and social connectedness in later life.”
Abstract: The purpose of the article is to assess the characteristics of the actual dataset obtained in an online-based research project interested in the digitization of later life in four countries by comparing it to the planned sample. It aims is to make visible the consequences of usual constraints –technical or not, and common uncritical assumptions to contribute to fighting unnoticed forms of ageism in the area. Compared to the online adult population, the collected sample shows imbalances that must be taken into account in the analysis of the results: there are more men than women, they are younger and better educated than the average online population. The characteristics of the individuals who effectively participated in the research project reflect the existing digital divide, which remains of particular relevance among the older age groups of the population. We do argue that empirical research on digital practices, being it conducted through online channels or not, must clearly state the age range of the sample and acknowledge the limitations in reaching the older old. It is critical to follow such a strategy to avoid generalizations that, in fact, disregard the older old and, therefore, contribute to reinforce ageism.
This paper derives from WP1 of the project BCONNECT@HOME “Being Connected” at Home: Making use of digital devices in later life, a research consortium that includes academic institutions from Canada, Netherlands, Spain, and Sweden. You will find the paper in the links section below.
- “Methods matter: Assessment of the characteristics of a sample to analyze digital practices and social connectedness in later life” (publisher’s website)