Topics: Sampling, Sample size, Standard deviation Pages: 26 (13035 words) Published: April 16, 2014
6. Questionnaires
Questionnaires or social surveys are a method used to collect standardised data from large numbers of people -i.e. the same information is collected in the same way. They are used to collect data in a statistical form. In Data Collection in Context (1981), Ackroyd and Hughes identify three types of survey: 1. Factual surveys: used to collect descriptive information, i.e. the government census 2. Attitude surveys - i.e. an opinion poll - rather than attempting to gather descriptive information, an attitude survey will attempt to collect and measure people's attitudes and opinions, i.e. 4 out of 5 people believe... 3. Explanatory survey - goes beyond the collection of data and aims to test theories and hypotheses and / or to produce new theory. Researchers usually use questionnaires or surveys in order that they can make generalisations, therefore, the surveys are usually based on carefully selected samples. Questionnaires consist of the same set of questions that are asked in the same order and in the same way in order that the same information can be gathered. Questionnaires can be:

1. Filled in by the participant
2. Asked in a structured and formal way by an interviewer
1. Interviewer bias must be considered when done in this way, however, an advantage of this method over a participant filling in a questionnaire is that the interviewer may assist if there are any ambiguous questions or if the participant is confused in any way 3. Postal questionnaire can be used, whereby a questionnaire is posted to the sample group and returned to the researcher by a specified time and date 4. Administration of a questionnaire to a group is an option - i.e. at centre, school or group. The researcher needs to consider if the group will affect each other's responses and the concentration levels etc when undertaking this approach 5. Telephone questionnaire

6. Email questionnaire

7. Developing a Questionnaire
Developing a Questionnaire
The process of developing a questionnaire involves the following four steps: 1. Choosing the questions by operationalising concepts, which involves translating abstract ideas into concrete questions that will be measureable (i.e......class, power, family, religion....add some sort of example) 2. Operationalising concepts involves a set of choices regarding the following: 1. units of analysis

1. units that can be analysed:
1. individuals (i.e. students, voters, workers)
2. groups (families, gangs)
3. organisations (churches, army, corporations)
4. social artefacts (buildings, cars, pottery, etc)
2. points of focus
3. treatment of the dimension of time
4. nature of measurement
3. Establish an operational definition which involves breaking the concept down into various components or dimensions in order to specify what is to be measured 4. Once the concept has been operationally defined in terms of a number of components, the second step involves the selection of indicatorsfor each component.' 5. '...indicators of each dimension are put into the form of a series of questions that will provide quantifiable data for measuring each dimension.'

8. Questionnaire Questions
Questions in the questionnaire can then be:
1. Open ended (more difficult to extract quantifiable data)
1. This form of question requires the researcher to code the answers. Coding identifies a number of categories in which people have responded, more detail of this process is covered in the qualitative research unit 2. Closed

3. Fixed-choice
4. Likert scale - where participants are given a range of options, i.e. agree, strongly agree...for more information about the Likert scale and other scales of measurement, visit 5. the difficulty or negative of all of the close and fixed are that participants may be forced into an answer or may not be able to qualify or explain what they mean by what they have answered The following links provide further...
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