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Week 3: Designing a questionnaire.  Decided on a subject area  Performed a literature search  Started to think about your research question and hypotheses.

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Presentation on theme: "Week 3: Designing a questionnaire.  Decided on a subject area  Performed a literature search  Started to think about your research question and hypotheses."— Presentation transcript:

1 Week 3: Designing a questionnaire

2  Decided on a subject area  Performed a literature search  Started to think about your research question and hypotheses  This week: Designing a questionnaire to test your hypotheses.

3  Sampling  Consent  Question types  Answer types  Questionnaire design  Coding

4  Who to ask: your target population  How many people: 20 (5 per group member)  Avoid a biased sample, e.g. if asking about drinking behaviour in men and women: ◦ Don’t just ask women ◦ Don’t just ask people in a bar ◦ Don’t just ask tee-totallers

5  You must adhere to a strict code of ethics in your research:  Participants must: ◦ give consent to take part ◦ not be coerced into participating ◦ be free to withdraw at any time  Administering your questionnaires already has ethics approval.

6  Participants create their own answers ◦ “What is your age?” ◦ “Are you a smoker?” ◦ “What are your favourite TV programmes?” ◦ “How much do you like biscuits?”  To make data analysis easier DO NOT use open-ended questions that allow participants to write long responses

7  Experimenter provides participants with options ◦ Choice of category:- Are you a smoker? Never smoked / Current smoker / Ex-smoker ◦ Likert scale: - How strongly do you agree with the statement “I like biscuits” Strongly Disagree Disagree Neutral Agree Strongly Agree ◦ Checklists: Circle the TV programmes that you watch ◦ Rating scales: How much do you like this drink, on a scale of 1- 10? ◦ Ranking: Order these sports in terms of how much you like them

8  Open-Ended ◦ Exploratory ◦ Useful when you can’t cover all the possible answers ◦ Impractical in terms of analysis  Closed-Format ◦ Easy and quick to fill in ◦ Doesn’t matter how literate or articulate you are ◦ Easy to code, record, and analyse results quantitatively ◦ Easy to report results

9  If the answer to the question is a number that represents an amount, e.g. ◦ IQ score ◦ Height ◦ How long it takes to complete a jigsaw puzzle ◦ Likert scale responses ◦ Ranks  Top tip: Calculating a mean makes sense with continuous data (but not with categorical data)

10  Please give an approximation of the number of alcoholic drinks you normally consume on a Saturday night: … Drinks.  Please indicate your agreement with the following statement: ◦ I feel that I should drink less on a Saturday night □ □ □ □ □ Strongly Disagree Neutral Agree Strongly Disagree Agree

11  If the answer to the question is: ◦ a word  “Yes” ◦ a sentence  “I think that biscuits are tasty” ◦ a description  “ Physics student” ◦ a code that represents a category  1 = undergraduate, 2 = postgraduate  NB: Numerical codes can be used to represent categorical responses BUT this does not transform categorical data into continuous data.

12  In which town were you born? …….  Please indicate your gender: □ Male □ Female  Which actor is the hunkiest? □ Brad Pitt □ Johnny Depp □ Orlando Bloom

13  “Please indicate your age:” ◦ Continuous: … Years ◦ Categorical : □ □ □ 31–35 □ 36–40 etc. ◦ Categorical :... Years □ Older than 60 Years  “How many days a week do you usually exercise?” ◦ Continuous : … days ◦ Continuous : □ 1 day □ 2 days □ 3 days □ 4 days □ 5 days □ 6 days □ 7 days ◦ Categorical : □ 1 day □ 2 days □ 3 days □ 4 days □ 5 days or more  This can be applied to a number of data

14  Keep it short and simple  Start with an introduction/ welcome message  Allow not applicable responses to all possibly relevant questions  Say thank you to your participants

15  Go from general to particular  Go from easy to difficult  Go from factual to abstract  Do not start with demographic and personal questions (put these at the end)

16  Start with a title  Assure anonymity ◦ Assign each questionnaire a number instead of asking for names  Avoid personal and sensitive questions  Be aware that you may bias answers simply by being there  Try to avoid biased wording ◦ e.g. “Would you agree that the death penalty is a bad idea?”

17  Giving numbers to categories in categorical data is called coding ◦ e.g. “Yes” becomes 1 and “No” becomes 2  Codes can be allocated either before the question is answered (pre-coding) or afterwards (post-coding)  You should agree on codes with the rest of your group before you enter any data  We will come back to this in Week 5

18  Think about your sample  Create your questionnaire  Pre-test the questionnaire (if practical)  Conduct interviews  Enter data  Analyse the data  Write your research proposal  Write your lab report

19  2 Categorical Hypotheses: - ◦ Should be tested with 2 categorical questions ◦ e.g. “Men prefer to buy fast food at Burger King, while women prefer to buy fast food at McDonalds”  2 Continuous Hypotheses: - ◦ Should be tested with a categorical question and a continuous question ◦ e.g. “Males consume a larger quantity of alcoholic beverages per week than females”

20  Put together your group questionnaire ◦ 10 questions in total ◦ 5 Categorical questions ◦ 5 Continuous questions  Try to consider your hypotheses while creating the questions  Get a tutor to check it over

21  Try to have asked 20 people to fill out your questionnaire  Top tip: If psychology students are a suitable sample, swap questionnaires with each other


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