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Research Methods in Politics Chapter 10 1 Research Methods in Politics 10 Questionnaires.

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1 Research Methods in Politics Chapter 10 1 Research Methods in Politics 10 Questionnaires

2 Research Methods in Politics Chapter 102 Teaching and Learning Objectives 1.to understand the special characteristics of questionnaires and where they are best used 2.to consider how questionnaires should be structured, designed, tested and coded 3.to discuss how questionnaires can best be ‘administered’ 4.to discuss issues of personal safety

3 Research Methods in Politics Chapter 103 Our researchers with Public Opinion are content That he held the proper opinions for the time of the year; When there was peace, he was for peace; When there was war, he went. W. H. Auden (1940) The Unknown Citizen

4 Research Methods in Politics Chapter 104 Questionnaires pre-designed lists of closed questions with pre- designated alternative answers pre-designed lists of closed questions with pre- designated alternative answers large representative samples large representative samples administered administered –face-to-face –remotely by telephone –self-administered by mail or internet designed and coded for computer analysis designed and coded for computer analysis declining response rates declining response rates –access to respondents –motivation –effective questionnaire design

5 Research Methods in Politics Chapter 105 Access Access sample frame sample frame sampling method sampling method –random –nth address –random walk –quota sample

6 Research Methods in Politics Chapter 106 Motivation appeals to appeals to –altruism –public or personal benefits reciprocity reciprocity trust in researcher trust in researcher –approach, manner –reputation of university –ID –authentication

7 Research Methods in Politics Chapter 107 Effective Questionnaire Design limited number of questions limited number of questions short, simple, unambiguous, plain English short, simple, unambiguous, plain English no leading questions no leading questions don’t knows don’t knows no replies no replies sequence critical: sensitive questions last sequence critical: sensitive questions last classifier questions at end classifier questions at end proxy-indicators proxy-indicators show cards show cards scaling attitudes scaling attitudes many pilots many pilots

8 Research Methods in Politics Chapter 108 Scaling Attitudes semantic differential semantic differential Likert Scale Likert Scale Guttman scale Guttman scale Bogardus social distance scale Bogardus social distance scale scale rating scale rating

9 Research Methods in Politics Chapter 109 Personal Safety Do Do –carry ID –carry mobile phone –stay is sight of colleagues –daylight –personal alarm –public places –notify police Don’t Don’t –accept invitations –harass or hinder people –stand in doorways or other private places –get involved in arguments

10 Research Methods in Politics Chapter 1010 coding codes codes scoping scoping generic codes generic codes recording responses recording responses

11 Research Methods in Politics Chapter 1011 Questions for Discussion or Assignments 1. Pilot the exhibit questionnaire (why are the British so anti-EU? ) on at least two members of the public (not students). What improvements would you suggest and why? 2. You are asked to test the hypothesis that age and education strongly influence the likelihood of electors voting in general elections. You must use a questionnaire. Identify the sample frame. Devise a quota sample for on-street survey. Design, test and revise a questionnaire of no more than twelve questions. Administer the questionnaire to ten members of the public in the main shopping street. Comment critically on your experiences as a questionnaire writer and questioner 3. Discuss critically the claim that questionnaires can measure people’s attitudes and beliefs 4.Most of the national opinion polls published in the lead-up to the 1992 UK general election wrongly forecast the outcome. Critically assess the various explanations given.


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