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Chapter 11 Direct Data Collection: Surveys and Interviews Zina OLeary.

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Presentation on theme: "Chapter 11 Direct Data Collection: Surveys and Interviews Zina OLeary."— Presentation transcript:

1 Chapter 11 Direct Data Collection: Surveys and Interviews Zina OLeary

2 The Benefits Of Direct Data Collection Surveys and interviews are key in social science data collection because they allow researchers to directly ask what they want, the way they want to. Zina OLeary (2009) The Essential Guide to Doing Your Research Project. London: Sage

3 Surveying Surveying involves gathering information from respondents related to their characteristics, attributes, how they live, opinions, etc. through administration of a questionnaire. Zina OLeary (2009) The Essential Guide to Doing Your Research Project. London: Sage

4 Survey Types Surveys can: reach a large number of respondents generate standardized, quantifiable, empirical data - as well as some qualitative data and offer confidentiality / anonymity. They can be: descriptive or explanatory involve entire populations or samples of populations capture a moment or map trends administered in a number of ways. Zina OLeary (2009) The Essential Guide to Doing Your Research Project. London: Sage

5 Surveys Conducting a survey capable of generating credible data requires: thorough planning meticulous instrument construction comprehensive piloting reflexive redevelopment deliberate execution and appropriate analysis. Zina OLeary (2009) The Essential Guide to Doing Your Research Project. London: Sage

6 Questionnaire Development Questionnaire development should begin by turning to relevant literature in a search for existing instruments that might be drawn upon. Questionnaire development begins with concept operationalization (turning abstract concepts into measurable variables). This often involves construction of various scales such as Likert, Guttman, and Thurstone. Zina OLeary (2009) The Essential Guide to Doing Your Research Project. London: Sage

7 Questions to Avoid Poorly worded questions: complex terms and language ambiguous questions double negatives double-barreled questions. Biased/ leading/or loaded: ring true statements hard to disagree with statements leading questions. Problematic for the respondent: recall dependent questions offensive questions questions with assumed knowledge questions with unwarranted assumptions questions with socially desirable responses. Zina OLeary (2009) The Essential Guide to Doing Your Research Project. London: Sage

8 Response Categories Survey questions can either be open or closed: Open questions - These questions ask respondents to construct answers using their own words. Open questions can generate rich and candid data, but it can be data that is difficult to code and analyze. Closed questions - These questions force respondents to choose from a range of predetermined responses, and are generally easy to code and statistically analyze. Zina OLeary (2009) The Essential Guide to Doing Your Research Project. London: Sage

9 Response Categories for Closed Questions Yes / No - Agree / Disagree : Do you drink alcohol? Yes/ No Fill in the blank: How much to you weigh? ______________ Choosing from a list: What would you drink most often? Beer Wine Spirits Mixed drinks Cocktails Ordering options: Please place the following drinks in order of preference Beer Wine Spirits Mixed drinks Cocktails Likert type scaling: It is normal for teenagers to binge drink disagree unsure agree strongly agree strongly disagree Zina OLeary (2009) The Essential Guide to Doing Your Research Project. London: Sage

10 Additional Considerations in Survey Construction Providing clear background information and lucid instructions Logical organization Comprehensive coverage without undue length User friendly and aesthetically pleasing layout and design. Zina OLeary (2009) The Essential Guide to Doing Your Research Project. London: Sage

11 Interviewing Interviewing involves asking respondents a series of open-ended questions. Interviews can generate both standardized quantifiable data, and more in-depth qualitative data. Zina OLeary (2009) The Essential Guide to Doing Your Research Project. London: Sage

12 Interview Types Interviews can range from: formal to informal structured to unstructured can be one on one or involve groups. Zina OLeary (2009) The Essential Guide to Doing Your Research Project. London: Sage

13 Conducting an Interview Conducting an interview that can generate relevant and credible data requires: thorough planning considered preparation of an interview schedule and recording system sufficient piloting reflexive modification the actual interview and appropriate analysis. Zina OLeary (2009) The Essential Guide to Doing Your Research Project. London: Sage

14 Conducting an Interview Conducting an interview can be an intimidating experience that does get easier with practice. It is worth remembering that the main objective of any interview is to facilitate an interviewees ability to answer. Zina OLeary (2009) The Essential Guide to Doing Your Research Project. London: Sage

15 Conducting an Interview Two important considerations in interviewing are: 1.Presentation of self 2.Preliminaries be on time! set up and check equipment establish rapport introduce the study explain ethics. Zina OLeary (2009) The Essential Guide to Doing Your Research Project. London: Sage

16 The Questioning Process Listen more than talk In order to facilitate an interviewees ability to answer you need to: ease respondents into the interview ask strategic questions prompt and probe appropriately keep it moving be true to your role wind it down when the time is right. Zina OLeary (2009) The Essential Guide to Doing Your Research Project. London: Sage

17 Remember… Your interview should ease the respondent into main questions and themes with sensitive questions only coming after the interview is in full swing. The questions you ask should be ones that facilitate rich answers. You will also need to consider what means you will use to capture these answers. As an interviewer you will need to be true to the researcher role and manage your subjectivities at all times. Zina OLeary (2009) The Essential Guide to Doing Your Research Project. London: Sage


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