Questionnaires
QuestionnairesPractical ad/disad Theoretical ad/disadEthical ad/disad
Re –word the questions on theworksheet using these rulesDO DON’TGive clear instructions andexplanations on how to complete...
Practical advantagesGeographically widespreadLarge amounts of dataQuickRespondents fill in and postback (no interviewer)Ea...
True or falseInterpretivists do not likequestionnaires as using somuch paper isenvironmentally unfriendlyPositivists likeq...
ReliabilityPositivists favour a scientificapproach which means beingable to challenge and buildupon previous research.If I...
Hypothesis testingPositivists like to test their hypothesis anddiscover cause and effect relationships.Write 2 questions f...
Read page 1881. Why are questionnaires viewed as detachedand objective?2. Why are they representative?3. What ethical issu...
Disadvantages of questionnairesPracticalCost can increaseSuperficial dataWho filled it in? Was it recievedNeed to be brief...
Response rateWho would be most likely to respond to a questionnaireon each of the following topic?• Politics• Fashion• Spo...
InflexibilityI’ve just thought ofanother question we canadd to our questionnaireto further develop a pointI posted them ye...
Why do questionnaires not showchange over time?Think of a method which would be better at this
Lying, forgetting and right answerismIt means thatyou will begrounded if youanswer no.Q. What reasons can you think of tha...
Interpretivist criticisms: detachment• Questionnaires lack validity as the researchercannot get close to the respondent an...
Interpretivist criticism: Imposing theresearcher’s meaningsHow many units of alcoholdo I drink per week? Well itreally var...
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  1. 1. Questionnaires
  2. 2. QuestionnairesPractical ad/disad Theoretical ad/disadEthical ad/disad
  3. 3. Re –word the questions on theworksheet using these rulesDO DON’TGive clear instructions andexplanations on how to complete thequestionsMake your questionnaire too longHave a clear layout to follow andrecord answersHave too few categories availableMake your questions clear and easyto followUse vague terms or questions thatmay lead to confusionAsk for any personal details at theendAsk embarrassing or personalquestionsExplain what the research is and whoyou areHave categories that overlapUse simple language that all willunderstandInclude any technical termsProvide multiple choice answerswhere appropriateInclude any leading questions(suggesting a probable answer)
  4. 4. Practical advantagesGeographically widespreadLarge amounts of dataQuickRespondents fill in and postback (no interviewer)Easily quantifiableCheap
  5. 5. True or falseInterpretivists do not likequestionnaires as using somuch paper isenvironmentally unfriendlyPositivists likequestionnaires as they arelarge scale and sorepresentativePositivists usequestionnaires to obtainquantitative data andestablish cause and effectrelationshipsPositivists usequestionnaires to discoverthe meanings behindpeoples’behaviourInterpretivists rejectquestionnaires as theyimpose the researchers’views on the respondentsand are low in validityPositivists favourquestionnaires as they arereliable and can be easilyreplicatedRepresentativeness, and quantitative data are important for positivists so they cangeneralise about cause and effect e.g. Girls are better at coursework than boys.Q. Why is reliability important to positivists?
  6. 6. ReliabilityPositivists favour a scientificapproach which means beingable to challenge and buildupon previous research.If I have seen further itis by standing on theshoulders of giants• When repeated questionnaires are identical to previous one used. (same questionsand same order)• With postal questionnaires there is no researcher present so no interaction betweeninterviewer and respondent.Q. Why does the above improve reliability?• Questionnaire is a fixed yardstick that can be used by any researcher to gain thesame results if a similar sample is used.• I the respondents give different answers to previous studies we can then assumethat this is the result of real differences, not different questions.• Questionnaires can be used to make comparisons over time and across differentsocieties1-2 times3-4 times5 timesHow many times a week do you attend school?Never1-2 times3-4 timesNever5 times
  7. 7. Hypothesis testingPositivists like to test their hypothesis anddiscover cause and effect relationships.Write 2 questions for each hypothesisto help discover cause and effect1. Children in large families do lesswell in school2. Teacher labelling is the main causeof black underachievement3. Girls achieve more than boysbecause they work harder
  8. 8. Read page 1881. Why are questionnaires viewed as detachedand objective?2. Why are they representative?3. What ethical issues are posed byquestionnaires?
  9. 9. Disadvantages of questionnairesPracticalCost can increaseSuperficial dataWho filled it in? Was it recievedNeed to be briefPostalIncentivesPostal
  10. 10. Response rateWho would be most likely to respond to a questionnaireon each of the following topic?• Politics• Fashion• Sports• GardeningQ. An incentive may be offered to increase response rateand representativeness. Why might this actually makethe sample even less representative?
  11. 11. InflexibilityI’ve just thought ofanother question we canadd to our questionnaireto further develop a pointI posted them yesterday.I’m not sure we can affordanother 100,000 postagestamps.
  12. 12. Why do questionnaires not showchange over time?Think of a method which would be better at this
  13. 13. Lying, forgetting and right answerismIt means thatyou will begrounded if youanswer no.Q. What reasons can you think of that might prevent people’sanswers from being accurate?Mum, question 5is asking if I’m avirgin. What doesthat mean?
  14. 14. Interpretivist criticisms: detachment• Questionnaires lack validity as the researchercannot get close to the respondent and sharetheir meanings.• Questions cannot be clarified so there is noway of knowing whether they were properlyunderstood or not. This is especially likely withcultural/language differences.1) Why might positivists view detachment as a good thing?2) Are questionnaires completely detached or might the researcher still imposehis/her values accidentally? How?
  15. 15. Interpretivist criticism: Imposing theresearcher’s meaningsHow many units of alcoholdo I drink per week? Well itreally varies depending onhow I’m feeling but I guessthe closest answer is 10.•By choosing which questions to ask, the researcher, not therespondent has decided what is important.•Closed-ended questions means that ‘best fit’ answers are givencreating a distorted view.•Even open-ended questions produce invalid results as positivistswill then code them meaning different answers are lumpedtogether.Shipman (1997) ‘Questionnaire imposes a straight jacket anddistorts respondents’ meanings’Q. How might interpretivists try to get around the aboveproblems?

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