Mind Map by , created over 5 years ago

Sociology Mind Map on Questionnaires

Created by luke_pearce94 over 5 years ago
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1 Advantages of Questionnaires
1.1 Practical Advantages
1.1.1 Quick and cheap way of gathering large quantities of data from large numbers of people.
1.1.2 No need to recruit and train interviewers or observers to collect the data, because respondents complete and return the questionnaires themselves.
1.1.3 Data is usually easy to quantify, particularly where pre-coded, closed-ended questions are used.
1.2 Reliability
1.2.1 Questionnaires are seen as a reliable method of collecting data. That is, if repeated by another researcher, a questionnaire should give similar results to those gained by the first researcher.
1.2.2 When the research is repeated, new respondents are asked exactly the same questions, in the same order, with the same choice of answers, as the original respondents
1.2.3 With postal questionnaires, there is no researcher present to influence the respondent's answers unlike interviews, where interaction with the interviewer may affect the answer given.
1.3 Hypothesis testing
1.3.1 Questionnaires are particularly useful for testing hypotheses about cause-and-effect relationships between different variables
1.3.2 Questionnaires enable us to identify possible causes, they are very attractive to postivist sociologists.
1.4 Objectivity
1.4.1 Positivists also favour questionnaires because they are a unbiased form of research, where the sociologist's personal involvement with their respondents is kept to a minimum
1.5 Representativeness
1.5.1 Questionnaires can collect information from a large number of people, the results stand a better chanceof being turly representative of the wider population than other methods
2 Postivist View
2.1 Favour questionnaires because they achieve the main postivist goals of reliability, generalisability and representativeness
2.2 Standardised questions and answers produce reliable data because other researchers can replicate the questionnaire
2.3 Pre-coded responses allow us to produce quantitative data, identity and measure behaviour patterns, and establish cause-and-effect relationships
2.4 Questionnaires are often large scale and thus more representative
3 Interpretivist View
3.1 Reject to use of questionnaires because they impose the researcher's framework of ideas on respondents.
3.2 Questionnaires fail to achieve the main interprevist goal of validity
4 Disadvantages of Questionnaires
4.1 Practical problems
4.1.1 Data from questionnaires tends to be limited and depthless. This means that they need to be brief because respondents are unlikely to complete and return long and time-consuming questionnaires.
4.1.2 Although they are cheap, sometimes to may mean that the creator needs to add incentives for people to complete the questionnaire for example; prizes.
4.1.3 With postal questionnaires, there can be two problems: Firstly, whether the potential respondent has actually received the questionnaire. Secondly, whether a returned questionnaire was actually completed by the person to whom it was addressed.
4.2 Response rate
4.2.1 Although questionnaires have the potential to collect data from large, representative samples, very low response rates can be a major problem, especially with postal questionnaires
4.2.2 A higher response rate can be obtained if follow-up questionnaires are sent and if questionnaires are collected by hand. However this costs a lot of money and time.
4.3 Inflexibility
4.3.1 Once the questionnaire has been finalised, the researcher is stuck with the questions they have decided to ask and cannot explore any new areas of interest should they come up during the course of the research.
4.4 Detachment
4.4.1 Interpretivist sociologists argue that data from questionnaires lack validity and do not give a true picture of what has been studied. They argue that we can only gain a valid picture by using methods that allow us to get close to the subjects of the study and share their meanings.
4.5 Lying and 'right answerism'
4.5.1 Respondents may lie, forget, not know, not understand, pretend that they don't understand or try to please or second-guess the researcher.
4.5.2 Some respondents may give 'respectable' answers they feel they ought to give, rather than tell the truth.

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