Questionnaires & Interviews



They can be divided into open and closed questions. Open questions allows the participants to answer the question however they want and closed questions allow participants to only answer within the pre-decided categories. (i.e yes or no questions)

Open questions provide qualitative data which can be difficult to interpret and analyse however it provides rich in depth data and we get an insight into the participants thoughts and experiences. 

Closed questions provide quantitative data which is easier to interpret and analyse however it lacks the detail that qualitative data provides. 


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Questionnaires evaluation


Cost effective: they can provide large amounts of research data for relatively costs. Therefore, a large sample size can be obtained which should be representative of the population, which a researcher can then generalize from. 

Standardized questions: all respondents are asked exactly the same question in the same order - the questionnaire can then be replicated to check for reliability. Therefore, a second researcher can use the questionnaire to check that the results are consistent.


Response bias: participants might tend to reply in a similar way (i.e. always ticking 'yes') in order to fill out the questionnaire quickly without properly reading the questions.

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There are two broad types of interviews - structured and unstructured interviews. 

Structured interviews: made up of a predetermined set of questions that are asked in a fixed order - where the interviewer asks a question and waits for a response. 

Unstructured interviews: works like a conversation as there are no set of questions. The general aim is that a certain topic will be discussed and the interaction tends to flow freely from there. The interviewee is encouraged to expand and elaborate their answers. 

Semi-structured interviews: type of interview that falls in between structured and unstructured interviews - where there is a list of questions however the interviewer can also ask follow-up questions. 

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Interviews evaluation

Structured interviews: straightforward to replicate due to standardised format. However interviewers cant deviate from the topic and the interviewees can’t elaborate their points which might be frustrating. 

Unstructured interviews: more flexibility compared to structured interviews. The interviewer can follow up on the interviewee’s point to gain a further insight into their worldview. However, the analysis of data isn’t as straightforward - some of the information may be irrelevant and drawing a firm conclusion may be difficult. 

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