QUESTIONNAIREPrepared by :Riziel Joanne B. Mercado
Questionnaire A questionnaire is a research instrumentconsisting a series of questions and otherprompts for the purpose of gathering informationfrom respondents. It was invented by Sir Francis Galton, and is oftenused in behavioral or social research. When properly constructed and responsiblyadministered, questionnaires become a vitalinstrument by which statements can be madeabout specific groups or people or entirepopulations.
Advantages of the Questionnaire1. The questionnaire is easy to construct.Distribution is easy and inexpensive.2. Responses are easy to tabulate.3. The respondent’s replies are free.4. Confidential information may be given freely.5. The respondent can fill out the questionnaire atwill.6. The respondent can give more accurate replies.
Disadvantages of a Questionnaire1. The questionnaire cannot be used with those whocannot read or write well, especially those who aretotally illiterate.2. If many respondents may not return the filled upcopies of the questionnaire purposely or forgetfully,considerable follow-ups are necessary.3. If a respondent gives wrong information, it cannot becorrected at once.4. A respondent may leave some or many questionsunanswered because nobody urges him to do so orhe may not understand the significance of theinformation he gives.
5. Some questions may be vague and so therespondent may not answer them or if he does,he may give wrong replies.6. The number of choices may be so limited thatthe respondent may be forced to selectresponses that are not his actual choices.
Construction of a Questionnaire1. Doing library search. Do some libraryresearch among studies similar to yours. Theremay be some questionnaires similar to whatyou want to use. They may serve as guides inconstructing yours.2. Talking to knowledgeable people. Talk topeople who have some knowledge about theconstruction of questionnaires. You may be ableto get some ideas from them.
3. Mastering the guidelines. There areguidelines in the construction of aquestionnaire. You learn these from books andsimilar studies in your library search and fromyour interviews with knowledgeable people.Master the guidelines.4. Writing the questionnaire. Write thequestionnaire following the guidelines as closelyas possible.
5. Editing the questionnaire. After thequestionnaire has been finished, show it forcorrection and suggestions for improvement topeople who are known to posses adequateknowledge in the construction of questionnaire.6. Rewriting the questionnaire. Rewrite thequestionnaire according to the corrections andsuggestions.
7. Pretesting the questionnaire. This is called adry run. This the process of measuring theeffectiveness, validity, and reliability of thequestionnaire, and determining the clarity of theitems, the difficulty of answering thequestions, the proper length of time inanswering, ease in tabulating responses, andother problems.
Parts of a questionnaire1. Instructions- to clarify to the respondents how and what to dowith the questionnaire; it is found at the topmostpart of the form
2. Classification- Information that describes the respondents bycertain physical, social, economic, and other traitsthat relate to the subject of researchExample : age, sex, civil status, educationalattainment, family income, occupation, orprofession of the respondents
3. Information- sought to make up the body of major portion ofthe questionnaire. The answers in this portion ofthe questionnaire provide data to solve thedefined problem of the research study.
4. Request for Cooperation- expresses appreciation and thanks to therespondents for their time and assistance ingathering data.Example :Thank You for your Cooperation.
Types of Questions asked in SurveyQuestionnaires1. According to form1. The free-answer type2. The guided response type2. According to the kind of data asked for1. Descriptive (verbal) data2. Quantified (numerical) data3. Intensity of feeling, emotion, or attitude4. Degree of judgment5. Understanding6. Reasoning
Guided Response Type- This is also called the restricted type. Therespondent is guided in making his reply.There are two types of this type:a. Recall Typeb. Recognition Types
a. Recall TypeThe replies are recalled.Example :Please supply the information asked for:Age ______Sex ______Date of Birth _________Place of Birth _________
Recognition Types-The possible responses are given andrespondent selects his answer. There arethree types:a. Dichotomousb. Multiple Choicec. Multiple Response
DichotomousThere are only two options and only one isselected.Example: Are you married?Yes _____ No _____
2. Multiple ChoiceOnly one answer is chosen from those givenas options.Example: What is your highest educationalattainment? Please put a check mark before yourreply.____ Elementary graduate____ High school graduate____ College graduate
3. Multiple ResponseTwo or more options may be chosen.Example: Why do you use toothpaste in brushingyour teeth? Place check marksbefore your choice.____ It prevents tooth decay____ It freshens breath____ It is soothing to the mouth____ It is cheap____ It is imported
2. According to the kind of data asked for1. Descriptive (verbal) data2. Quantified (numerical) data3. Intensity of feeling, emotion, or attitude4. Degree of judgment5. Understanding6. Reasoning
Descriptive (verbal) dataExample : What kind of house do you live in?Please check.____ Concrete____ Bamboo____ Semi-Concrete / Wooden____ Others
Quantitative (numerical) dataExample :How old are you? ______What is your average monthly income?_____
Intensity of Feeling, emotion, or attitude.Example : Do you agree to have only oneday election, set for local and national electiveofficials?____ Strongly Agree____ Agree____ Fairly Agree____ Disagree____ Strongly Disagree
Degree of JudgementExample: How serious is the problem (drugaddiction, drinking, stealing, etc.)?____ Very Serious____ Serious____ Fairly Serious____ Not serious____ Not a problem
UnderstandingExample:Explain what democracy is.
ReasoningExample :Why do you prefer democracy than dictatorship?
Guidelines in the Formulation ofQuestions for a QuestionnaireIt has been said before that a questionnaire is a setof planned questions which, when answeredproperly, would supply the needed data for aresearch problem or topic.Hence, the questions should be formulated properlyand appropriately to be able to secure thenecessary information.
The following are useful guidelines in theconstruction of questions for a questionnaire:1. Make all directions clear and unequivocal. Asmuch as possible make all directions clear, definite,unequivocal and brief. There should also be adirection for every type of questions. See to it thatthe respondent knows exactly what to do.Example: Poor direction for a multiple question:Answer the following questions.Better: Choose the items or options that would bestanswer the question and write a check mark onthe space before each option. You may havemore than one choice.
2. Use correct grammar. Punctuation marksespecially should be placed properly to avoidmisinterpretation.Example of poor grammar:Please accomplish the questionnaire as soon aspossible return it.Better: Please accomplish the questionnaire andreturn it as soon as possible.
3. Make all questions unequivocal. As much aspossible make all questions brief, clear, andunequivocal. Avoid making double barreledquestions, questions which can be interpreted intwo ways.Example:Are you employed or not?This is not a doubled barreled question becauseactually there are two questions.One is: Are you employed?The other is: Are you not employed?
This type of question cannot be answered by yes or nowithout qualifying the answer. If your answer isaffirmative, it should be: Yes, I am employed. If youanswer in the negative the answer should be: No, Iam not employed.Example of a vague question: Are you a graduate?Better: Are you a high school graduate? (Specify thecourse)
4. Avoid asking biased questions. A biased questionis one in which there is a veiled suggestion for ananswer.Example:Do you use Colgate toothpaste? If not, whatbrand do you use?In this question there is a veiled suggestion to makeColgate as the answer. The respondent may thinkthat because Colgate is mentioned, it is the besttoothpaste and he has the tendency to say yes.Better:Which brand of toothpaste do you use?
5. Objectify the responses. This is for thestandardization of responses and easier tabulation.Example: Why do you use Camay soap?The replies can be checked only.____It is fragrant.____It makes my skin smoother.____It is cheap.____It is available all the time.____It lasts long.
6. Relate all questions to the topic under study. Allquestions should gather data relevant to the study.If the study is about the teaching of science, allquestions should gather data that have somethingto do with the teaching of science. If the study isabout the teaching of mathematics, all questionsshould gather data that have something to do withthe teaching of mathematics.
7. Create categories or classes for approximateanswers. There are questions which cannot begiven exact answers and so there is a necessity ofcreating categories or classes to accommodate theapproximate replies. Such classes or groupingsmay be qualitative or quantitative.
QualitativeHow efficient is yourteacher?____Very efficient____Efficient____Fairly efficient____Inefficient____Very inefficientQuantitativeHow many sticks ofcigarettes do youconsume a day?____ 0 – 4____ 5 – 9____ 10 – 14____ 15 – 19____ 20 - 24
8. Group the questions in logical sequence. Someways of groupings are:1. Questions may be grouped according to thespecific questions under the statement of theproblem. All questions that gather data toanswer one specific question under thestatement of the problem should be groupedtogether.2. Questions that deal with items that arelogically and usually placed together under abig category should be grouped together.
3. In each grouping, easier questions should beasked first.4. Questions should be given in successionsteps if the topic of study is a process suchas baking a cake, constructing a house,preserving foods, etc.
Questions may be grouped according to thespecific questions under the statement of theproblem.Example:How qualified are the teachers handlingscience?All questions dealing with degrees earned,majors or specializations, eligibilities, seminarsattended, special trainings attended, teachingexperiences, and aptitude should be groupedtogether.
Questions that deal with items that are logically andusually placed together under a big categoryshould be grouped together.Example:Questions about age, gender, civil status, date ofbirth, place of birth, ethnic origin, nativelanguage, etc. should be grouped under personaldata.
9. Create sufficient number of responsecategories. This is to make possible the inclusionof the correct choice of the respondent. If thecorrect choice of the respondent is not includedamong the response categories and he is requiredto make, his reply would be wrong.
Ex. of limited number of response categories:Do you agree that the presidential form of government isbetter than the parliamentary form?____Agree____DisagreeIf the respondent does not know which is better, either he does notanswer the question, or if he is forced to make a response, eitherreply will be wrong.It would be better to make a room for a number of responses:___Strongly agree___Agree___Uncertain or No comment___Disagree___Strongly disagree
10. Word carefully or avoid questions thatdeal with confidential or embarrassinginformation.Example:Suppose a woman becomes unfaithful to herhusband and you want to find the reasonswhy she became unfaithful to her husband.This is in connection with your study offamily relations.
Poor question: Why did you becomeunfaithful to your husband? (This isalready telling her that she is unfaithful andthis will surely embarrass her.)Better: What, in your own opinion, arethe reasons why wives sometimes fall inlove with men other than their ownhusbands? (Supply all possible reasonsand she will choose those which sheexperienced.)
11. Explain and illustrate difficult questions. Difficultquestions such as those employing some unfamiliartechnical terms should be made clear by addedexplanations and/or illustrations.
12. State all questions affirmatively. If negativestatements are unavoidable, underline the negativeword to avoid misinterpretation.Example: Are you not studying?Better:Are you studying?
13. Make as many questions as would supplyadequate information for the study. The study isonly as complete as the completeness of the dataused. If some important data are missing, the worthof the inquiry is very much reduced particularly itsaccuracy and validity.
14. Add a catch-all word or phrase to options ofmultiple response questions. This is necessaryfor any additional information that the respondentmay want to give.Example:Why did you stop your studies?_____I am too poor. I cannot afford._____I married early._____I lost interest._____My family moved to a place too far from school._____Others, please specify.The word “Others” is the catch-all-word.
15. Place all spaces for replies at the left side. Asmuch as possible, place all spaces for replies at theleft side of the questionnaire for easy tabulation.The spaces should be in a straight vertical column.
16. Make the respondents anonymous. This is tomake them give information more freely and moreaccurately. Respondents are reluctant and evenrefuse to give information about confidential and/orembarrassing matters if they are not madeanonymous.
Evidence of MisleadingQuestions(Treece and Treece Jr, p. 189)1. All-or-none responses. If all or most of theanswers are in the same direction, such as all“yes” or all “no”, there is something wrong withthe question. An example is “Are you in favor ofgood health?” Naturally the answer is “yes”.2. Considerable difference in responses whenthe order is changed. This may be a change inthe word order of an item or a change in theorder of the questions.
3. High proportion of omission or “noresponse.” If so many questions are leftunanswered, either the question is overlooked,or it is unclear, or it is offensive, or there is noplace where to write the answer.4. High proportion of “don’t know” or “don’trecall”. These responses indicate that theitems are improperly stated or inappropriate.This is why pretesting is necessary to discoverthese defects.
5. High proportion of “other” answers. This isan indication that the choices or options forselection are either inadequate or inappropriate.Enough options should be provided and theirappropriateness should be studied carefully.
6. Considerable number of added comments. Ifthere are many comments on the margins or atthe end of the items, this indicates theenthusiasm of the respondent or weakness ofthe items. If the comments are irrelevant, theitems are either unclear or the alternatives areinappropriate.
Example:Why are you studying to become a teacher?The options or choices are:______I love to teach children.______I can have a good job.______I want to work in an office.The options are inadequate. The respondent may add“There are not enough choices.” and then adds “This is thekind of service I want to render to my people.” Besides, “Iwant to work in an office.” is an inappropriate becauseteaching is not working in an office.
The Cover Letter Every copy of the questionnaire to be sent to arespondent should be accompanied by a coverletter which should certain among other thingsthe following: The purpose of the questionnaire or study Who is sanctioning, endorsing, or sponsoring the study What will be done with the information gathered by thequestionnaire The reason why the respondent should answer thequestionnaire and giving importance to the respondent
The deadline date for the return of the questionnaire A guaranty of the anonymity of the respondent andthe confidentiality of the information given by him An expression of gratitude for the respondent’sparticipation in the study An offer to inform the respondent of the results ofthe study if he is interested
The Cover Letter The letter should be written as courteously andcordially as possible by making it very personaland neatly printed or typed bearing the actualsignature of the researcher. The sponsoring or endorsing person should beselected on the basis of his influence upon therespondents.