Advantages of questionnaires

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  • Advantages of questionnaires
    • Practical
      • Quick and cheap way to gather large amounts of information
        • Dewson (2001) posted 4,000 questionnaires to higher education instutions
      • No need to train interviewers
      • Easy to quantify
    • Theoretical
      • Reliability
        • Detached method
        • Fixed yardstick
          • They are repeatable, other researchers can check results
        • Allow comparisons between societies
      • Representativeness
        • Collect large amounts of information
        • Can make accurate generalisations from sample
    • Ethical
      • Not required to answer intrusive questions
      • Informed consent ensures anonymity
    • Detachment
      • Unbiased because researcher doesn't influence answers
        • Postal questionnaires completed at distance
      • Postal questionnaires completed at distance
      • Positivists like questionnaires because they maintain detachment
    • Hypothesis testing
      • Find cause and effect relationships between different variables
      • Positivists like questionnaires because they take a scientific approach
      • Statements can be made about cause and effect relationships
    • Sociologists
      • Interpretivists
        • Impose researchers framework of ideas on research
          • Tell little about meanings held by social actors
      • Positivists
        • Standardised questions - data can be replicated
        • Large scale  more representative
        • Pre-coded answers - measure behaviour patterns

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