What Is A Questionnaire?
A written method of gaining data from participants. They do not nesecarily require the presence of a researcher. They include attitude scales and opinions surveys and may involve closed and open ended questions.
- Face To Face
Strengths Of A Questionnaire?
- Target amount of data can be collected relatively quickly and cheaply (increases representativeness and generalisability)
- Closed questions are easy to score/ analyse statistically
Weaknesses Of A Questionaire
- Lack flexibility
- Based on self report (relying on someones response)
- Changing their personal response to sociailly acceptable respone
- Social desirability bias
- Very low response rate to postal questionaires.
All interviews involve direct questioning of the participants by the researcher but they differ in how structured the questions are. Gnerally the advantages are that they provide a great deal of useful data, especially about internal emntal state /beliefs/ opinions but a disadvantage is that relying on self report methods may not be reliable.
Contains fixed questions and structured ways of repying (yes/no/etc)
Strengths of interviews
- Easier to quantify and analyse
- Reliable, replicable and generaliseable
Weakness of structured interviews
- some important information may be missed.
Semi structured interviews
Contains guidelines for questions to be asked but phasing etc are left to the interviewer. Some questions may be open-ended. Clincal interviews use "semi" structured/e.g used in therapuetic context.
Strengths Of Semi Structured Interviews
- Fairly flexible and sensitive
- fairly reliable and easy to analyse
Weaknesses Of Semi structured interviews
- Less reliable - open to experimenter bias
- Difficult to replicate
May contain a topic area for discussion but no fixed questions or ways of of answering the question. The interviewer is able to ask for clarification or explore answers in more detail. This would tend to be a police interviewing technique or lawyers/ intergation officer.
- Data is highly detaild and valid
- Very flexible and unconstructed
- No standardisation - so less reliable
- difficult to replicate and difficukt to generalise
- difficult to analyse
One of the common rating scales is the lihert scale. A statement is used and the participant decides how strongly they agree, or disagree with the statement. For example the participant decides whether they strongly agree/agree/undecided/disagree/strongly disagree.
- Gives us an idea how strongly a participant feels about something
- Qunatitative which is easier to analyse
- Tendency with lihert scale for people to respond towards the middle of the scale and participant may provide answers that they feel they should
- Importantly as the data is quantitative it does not provide in depth replies
Fixed Choice Questions
Fixed choice questions are phrased so that the respondent has to make a fixed choice answer usualy 'yes' or 'no'.
This type of questionaires is easy to measure and also forces a participant to not choose a middle opinion.
However respondents may not feel that their desired response is available and the answers are not in depth.
Reliability - consistent
The goal of research is to produce meaningful findings that can be applied beyong the test situation. In order to do this, the research firstly have to be objective, this means that they are 'value free' not based on opionins and interpretations that are biased.
QUantitative measures are numbers. Much research records behaviour in quantitative ways, for example by counting the number of aggresive acts, or by asking people not to rate their own behaviours or feelings on numberical scales.
Do not use numbers and rely more on descriptions and interpretations of behaviour. Some research simply describes the behaviour of some individuals and an alternative to a numberical rating scale. Would be a more open-ended question where people simple describe how they feel.