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2012 social survey

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  • 1. INTRODUCTION TO RESEARCH METHODOLOGY Social Survey
  • 2. INTRODUCTION TO SURVEYS & INTERVIEWS
    • The key to select the most suitable method is to clarify the research question or objective of the project work.
  • 3. RESEARCH OBJECTIVE 1 To Make Generalizations about a Target Population eg Are senior citizens in Singapore physically active? APPROPRIATE METHOD: Surveys
  • 4. SURVEYS
    • When to use:
      • Topic is not sensitive and respondents are likely to be honest
      • Student is clear about the ideas/concepts that are to be measured
      • Respondents for the survey are available
  • 5. RESEARCH OBJECTIVE 2 To Gain an In-depth and Holistic Understanding of an Issue or about a Group of People APPROPRIATE METHOD: Interviews
  • 6. INTERVIEWS
    • When to use:
      • Topic involves understanding the perception and realities of a particular group of people
      • Student is trying to understand more about an idea/concept
      • The information is not available in the literature
    • Example: Interview with an elderly person on whether he feels financially secure, or interviews with families with elderly parents on how government policies can help them to provide better physical and financial support for their aged parents.
  • 7. DEVELOPING A SURVEY QUESTIONNAIRE
  • 8. STEP 1: CLARIFY THE RESEARCH OBJECTIVE
    • Ask “What do I want to know?
    • Asking good and relevant questions depends on
    • Having a clear research question
    • Having a clear definition or operationalisation of all the key concepts
  • 9. STEP 2: DEFINE OR OPERATIONALISE KEY CONCEPTS
    • Define key concepts or variables in a concrete and measurable way , either quantitatively or qualitatively.
  • 10. Topic: Are senior citizens in the community actively engaged?
    • What are the concepts or variables that you should operationalise?
    Copyright (c) 2008 J&C Research Consultants Pte. Ltd.
  • 11. Topic: Are senior citizens in the community actively engaged?
    • Definition of senior citizens (demographics of senior citizens)
    • Definition of ‘actively engaged’
    Copyright (c) 2008 J&C Research Consultants Pte. Ltd.
  • 12. Topic: Are senior citizens in the community actively engaged?
    • Definition of senior citizens (demographics of senior citizens)
    • - Age / Employment status / health status?
    • Definition of ‘actively engaged’
    • - how many hours a day / week they spend on social / physical activities?
    Copyright (c) 2008 J&C Research Consultants Pte. Ltd.
  • 13. STEP 3: DRAFT THE SURVEY QUESTIONNAIRE
    • There must be an introduction , which describes the organization one represents and the purpose of the survey
    • There must be a demographic section
  • 14. COLLECTING DEMOGRAPHIC INFORMATION
    • To conduct more in-depth evaluation and analysis of ideas, analyse the information by subgroups , e.g. compare males and females
    • Hence, include a demographic section so that:
      • you can describe the characteristics of your sample in the research report
      • you can conduct sub-group analysis , i.e. compare how males and females differ on a particular issue
  • 15. GUIDELINES FOR WRITING GOOD QUESTIONS
    • a) Ask Purposeful Questions
    • Questions that show a clear connection to the survey objective
    • Respondents should be able to understand how these questions are related to the objectives of the survey
  • 16. GUIDELINES FOR WRITING GOOD QUESTIONS
    • b) Ask Straightforward and Concrete Questions
    • i.e. Precise and unambiguous to elicit accurate and consistent information
    • Can use time periods to make questions more concrete
  • 17. GUIDELINES FOR WRITING GOOD QUESTIONS
    • c) Use Conventional Language
    • Use complete sentences
    • Check for correct grammar and syntax
    • Avoid abbreviations, slang and colloquial expressions
    • Avoid difficult vocabulary
    • Avoid using academic jargons and technical expressions
  • 18. GUIDELINES FOR WRITING GOOD QUESTIONS
    • d) Conduct a Pilot Survey
    • Test out the questions with a small number of respondents
    • Gather feedback and responses from the respondents
    • whether any concept is ambiguous
    • question or response option is unclear, etc.
  • 19. GUIDELINES FOR WRITING GOOD QUESTIONS
    • d) Conduct a Pilot Survey (Cont’d)
    • Gather feedback from interviewers
    • the flow of questions
    • ease of asking questions verbally, etc.
    • Revise questions before starting actual data collection
  • 20. Critique of past year survey questions
    • 2010 Pilot Survey_with comments.doc
    • 2011 1G_RE survey form.docx
    • survey questions (1H).doc
    • Sample Survey Form- John Nash.doc
    • ..Data analysisData_Analysis_Worksheet(1).xls
  • 21. EXAMPLE
    • 2009 Y1 RE Exemplar Survey Report on Gambling
    • 2009 Exemplar-survey report.doc
  • 22. Step 3: Drafting the Survey Questionnaire
  • 23. EXAMPLE 2
    • A survey of students at a school exhibition on groundbreaker, John Nash
  • 24. Choice of Topic
    • Groundbreaker: John Nash (Nobel Prize for Economics 1994)
    • Mathematician known for the Nash Equilibrium
    • Inspired the film “A Beautiful Mind”
    • Showcase his life and work through an exhibition in school
  • 25. John Nash Copyright (c) 2008 J&C Research Consultants Pte. Ltd. In game theory , Nash equilibrium (named after John Forbes Nash , who proposed it) is a solution concept of a game involving two or more players, in which each player is assumed to know the equilibrium strategies of the other players, and no player has anything to gain by changing only his own strategy unilaterally. If each player has chosen a strategy and no player can benefit by changing his or her strategy while the other players keep theirs unchanged, then the current set of strategy choices and the corresponding payoffs constitute a Nash equilibrium. - Wikipedia
  • 26. Nash began to show signs of extreme paranoia and his wife later described his behavior as erratic, as he began speaking of characters like Charles Herman and William Parcher who were putting him in danger. Nash seemed to believe that all men who wore red ties were part of a communist conspiracy against him. Nash mailed letters to embassies in Washington, D.C. , declaring that they were establishing a government. -Wikipedia
  • 27. Reasons for Choice of Topic
    • John Nash also suffers from schizophrenia and mild depression
    • Objective of project:
    • To effectively showcase the life and work of John Nash
    • To educate the public about mental illness
  • 28. Step 1: Clarify the Research Objective
    • To investigate the “effectiveness” of the exhibition in showcasing the life and work of John Nash
    • What are some ways to operationalise “effectiveness”?
  • 29. Step 2: Define “Effectiveness”
    • i.e. “ Effectiveness ” of the exhibition in showcasing the life of John Nash
    • = 1. Capture the attention of those who walk past the exhibits
    • = 2. Increase in knowledge about John Nash
    • = 3. Less stereotypical perception about patients suffering from schizophrenia and depression
  • 30. Step 3: Drafting the Survey Questionnaire Refer to pg 5 of your handout Analyse the questionnaire Sample Survey Form- John Nash.doc
  • 31. Group Exercise (10 min)
    • In your group, analyse the survey
    • Indicate which question reflects the three definitions of the concept, “effectiveness”
    • Appoint a person to present your ideas
  • 32. Relevant Readings
    • Please refer to Project Works Vol. 2, pg 26-37 for step-by-step instructions on how to conduct a good survey.
    • Please refer to pg 38-41 for instructions on how to conduct an interview.
  • 33. PLAN ADEQUATELY BEFORE DATA COLLECTION
    • Choosing a topic, planning for data collection and gathering of data are equally important processes in Project Work
    • However, many students in their haste to collect data and “start on the project”, often fail to plan adequately
    • Premature collection of the data without proper planning is like starting to build a house without a concrete construction plan
    • A good group project proposal guards against this danger
  • 34. SUMMARY
    • Different methods give you different types of information
    • Always clarify your research question before selecting the most appropriate method to address your question
    • A good data collection instrument, e.g. a well-crafted survey questionnaire, is very important to collect rigorous data
    • Always plan your research before implementing it