Questionnaires

freskida
Mind Map by freskida, updated more than 1 year ago
freskida
Created by freskida almost 7 years ago
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Mind Map on Questionnaires, created by freskida on 04/27/2013.

Resource summary

Questionnaires
1 Theoretical
1.1 Advantages
1.1.1 Positivists favour questionnaires due to reliability, generalizability & representativeness,
1.1.1.1 Standardised questions & answers produce reliable data- other researchers can replicate questionnaire.
1.1.1.2 Pre-coded responses allow us to produce quantitative data, identify and measure behaviour patterns & establish cause & effect relationships.
1.1.1.3 Questionnaires are often large scale, thus more representative.
1.1.1.3.1 allow us to make accurate generalisations about the wider population.
1.1.2 Questionnaires allow comparisons to be made, both over time & between different societies.
1.1.3 Useful for testing hypothesises about cause & effect relationships between different variables.
1.1.4 Maintain detachment & objectivity- sociologists personal involvement with their respondents is kept to a minimum.
1.2 Disadvantages
1.2.1 Interpretivists reject the use of questionnaires- impose the researcher's framework of ideas on respondents & fail to give us a wider picture.
1.2.1.1 low in validity
1.2.2 Researcher cant be sure whether s returned questionnaire was actually completed by the person to whom it was addressed.
1.2.3 low response rate- very few bother to complete it and return it
1.2.3.1 high response rate can be obtained if questionnaires are collected by hand or if follow-up questions are sent BUT this adds to time & cost
1.2.4 those who return their questionnaires may be different from those who don't.
1.2.4.1 eg. those with strong views on a subject are more likely to respond than those who have little knowledge or interest in it.
1.2.4.1.1 If the respondent are different to the non-respondents = will produce distorted & unrepresentative results so no accurate generalisations can be made.
1.2.5 Lack flexibility- researcher is stuck with questions they decided to ask so cant explore new areas of interest.
1.2.6 lack of contact = inability to clarify what the questions mean to the respondent or to deal with misunderstandings.
1.2.7 Social desirability effect- don't want to reveal the complete truth
1.2.8 interpretivists: questionnaires are more likely to impose the researchers own meanings than to reveal those of the respondent. (page 189)
2 Ethical
2.1 Advantages
2.1.1 few ethical problems than most other research methods.
2.1.2 Respondents are under no obligation to answer sensitive questions.
2.2 Disadvantages
2.2.1 Questionnaires may ask intrusive or sensitive questions.
2.2.2 researcher needs to gain informed consent & guarantee respondent's anonymity.
3 Practical
3.1 Advanatages
3.1.1 not money and time consuming
3.1.2 postal questionnaires- easy and cheap to gather large quantities of data from large numbers of people.
3.1.2.1 eg. Helen Connor & Sara Dewson (2001) posted nearly 4000 questinnaires to students at 14 higher education institutions around the country.
3.1.3 no need to recruit & train interviewers or observers to collect the data.
3.1.4 Data easy to quantity, where pre-coded, close-ended questions are used & can be easily processed by computer.
3.2 Disadvantages
3.2.1 data tends to be limited & superficial as they need to be fairly brief.
3.2.1.1 Respondents are unlikely to complete a long, time-consuming questionnaire.
3.2.1.1.1 Researcher cant be sure whether the potential respondent has actually received the questionnaire.
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