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Key terms

  • Closed questions: questions that require a specific answer.
  • Open questions: questions that allow the respondent to expand. 
  • Prompts: possible answers to questions. 
  • Response rate: the proportion of questionnaires that are returned. 
  • Validity: the problem of ensuring that the questions measure what the researcher intends them to. 

General strengths

  • They can reach a large number of people - easy to organise and distribute. 
  • Cheap to produce/create. 
  • Can be converted into statistical data through use of coding.
  • Useful for topics that may embarrass the participant and interviewer presence may be inappropriate. 
  • Highly standardised, meaning everyone receives the questions in the same format (reliable). 
  • Generalisable to the whole population (if


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