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  • Created by: Beth_Gee
  • Created on: 04-05-14 20:36



·         Large amount of people

·         Establish what people think

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·         Type of question

·         Easy instructions

·         Ethics

·         Carry out a pilot study

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Open Questions

Can write your own view



• Rich, detailed data

• Respondent can express detailed opinion

• More realistic


• Qualitative data – difficult to analyse

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Closed Questions

Chooses response (YES/NO) predetermined by research


• Quantitative data – statistically analysed


• Artificial 

• Loses richness of answers and opinions

• Not clear if respondent understands the question

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General Strengths and Weaknesses


• Can be used on large samples – less chance of bias results 

• Efficient –researcher does not need to be present – fewer investigator effects, more honest answers (social pressure)


• Social desirability: people may ‘lie’ about the for example, number of alcohol units they drink a week, they could underestimate reduced validity – avoid in interviews

• Untruthful responses 

• Distortion in sampling frame: bias sample, volunteer sample certain personality types – postal surveys = low response rates reducing representative sample

• Difficult to phrase questions clearly 

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Potential Pitfalls in Designing Questionnaires

• Open or closed q’s?

• Question order –high sensitive questions not placed at start

• Avoiding jargon – need to be familiar with the language used 

• Avoid leading questions or value judgement – ‘was the subject’s t-shirt green or blue?’ 

• Avoid double-barrelled questions – don’t include more than one inem within same question, as Ps may wish to give different answers for each part

• Avoid emotive questions – ‘killing defenceless animals’ may bias response made

• Avoid vagueness or ambiguity – subjective

• Avoid inappropriate assumptions – ‘what is your occupation?’

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