Strengths and Limitations of Using Questionnaires to Investigate Social Class Inequalities in Health.

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A questionnaire is a method of collecting data by way of basically filling out a form. These are useful for lots of data and can be used by everyone. The national census is a thing where by the whole country fill out this form and so the government can work out statistics of the country. As a positivist I would prefer a questionnaire to interviews for example. The advantages of a questionnaire are: It can be tailored to the researchers queries as he would write it. It can also be useful for getting lots of peoples data as it can be short and so it only needs to be filled out by 1 person each. They are cheap in comparison to interviews. They are easy to do because if they are closed questions then they are ticking boxes. It also provides statistical data if there is a large number of participants. Its easy to process if it is closed questions as the answered can be assigned numbers and used in computers. Data can be found that a person might not want to say in an interview. There is usually a high response rate as it is usually Quick to complete. There is High reliability in questionnaires because they are easy to make etc. there is no interviewer bias and lastly there is no need to use an interviewer.

The disadvantages of a questionnaire are: that it needs a pilot survey and are hard to distribute and there is obviously a need to get people to fill them out and they need closed questions. The researcher is not able to explain if not sure or in the middle and then the researcher would not know the real data. Lastly the researcher cannot build rapport with the subject. In lower class families they might not have time to do the questionnaire because they are too busy at work. Another reason is that they may be illiterate or may not speak English, this is more common in lower classes than the upper classes. People from all classes might not want to do they survey and just reject it thinking that it would ask for private information that they might not want to...
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