Questionnaires

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  • Questionnaire
    • A good questionnaire
      • Has correct indicators – the concepts have to be well-operationalised
      • Has short, clear questions that can be easily understood
      • Is as short as possible
      • Is unbiased
      • Coding means allocating a number to each answer then putting the answers on a type of spreadsheet. Analysis leads to summary and comparison. This is usually done via software
    • Self- completion questionnaires
      • Used for specific topics, often to support a hypothesis. Very useful in surveys as can reach large sample by being handed out, mailed out or put on the internet, easy to administer, good for embarrassing or sensitive topics
      • Provide clear information, presented in statistics via coding
      • Highly standardised so should be reliable but people may still interpret questions differently
      • If sample is correct, should be generalizable and representative but postal or internet questionnaires could be filled in by wrong person. May have low response rate which makes them useless. This often occurs when questions are asked about moral issues such as abortion
      • If well-designed and about simple issues, should be highly valid. However, questions should not be open to interpretation. People may lie. Can use check questions but can never really be sure
    • qualitative
      • Semi-structured or unstructured interviews, a series of questions used as a starting point for in-depth exploration. Group interviews and focus groups often start the same way
    • quantitative
      • Questionnaires – self-completed, usually closed questions as no one there to explain them
      • Structured interviews – read out, no variation or explanation allowed but can use scripted prompts, basically oral questionnaires
    • Give you access to what people say but not to what they do. You can only find this out via observation.

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