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Questionnaire Surveys Obtaining data by asking people questions and recording their answers Obtaining data by asking people questions and recording their.

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Presentation on theme: "Questionnaire Surveys Obtaining data by asking people questions and recording their answers Obtaining data by asking people questions and recording their."— Presentation transcript:

1 Questionnaire Surveys Obtaining data by asking people questions and recording their answers Obtaining data by asking people questions and recording their answers A standardised set of question is given to each respondent; they give their answers in writing A standardised set of question is given to each respondent; they give their answers in writing Gets you lots of data quickly and gives you an insight into people’s views, opinions and attitudes Gets you lots of data quickly and gives you an insight into people’s views, opinions and attitudes But only if they answer accurately But only if they answer accurately

2 Types of Question Closed questions Closed questions Restrict respondent to a predetermined set of responses Restrict respondent to a predetermined set of responses Generate quantitative data Generate quantitative data Open questions Open questions Allow respondents to answer however they want Allow respondents to answer however they want Generate qualitative data Generate qualitative data

3 Types of Closed Question Straightforward response Straightforward response Are you female or male? MF Are you female or male? MF What is your age in years? ____ years What is your age in years? ____ years Do you smoke? YesNo Do you smoke? YesNo

4 Types of Closed Question Checklist Checklist What is the highest academic qualification you hold? What is the highest academic qualification you hold? GCSEs GCSEs A – Levels A – Levels Undergraduate degree Undergraduate degree Post-graduate degree Post-graduate degree

5 Types of Closed Question Adjectival/adverbial response Adjectival/adverbial response Does your anxiety affect your ability to do the following things? Does your anxiety affect your ability to do the following things? Not at all A Bit Very much Go to work Meet friends Go shopping

6 Types of Closed Question Numerical (Likert) response scale Numerical (Likert) response scale Psychology is the most interesting A-Level subject Psychology is the most interesting A-Level subject Strongly agree Agree Not sure Disagree Strongly Disagree

7 Types of Closed Question Ranking scale Ranking scale Rank the following activities according to how much time you spend on them each day (1 = most time, 4 = least time) Rank the following activities according to how much time you spend on them each day (1 = most time, 4 = least time) Talking face to face Talking face to face Talking on the telephone Talking on the telephone Text messaging Text messaging Other (e.g. MSN, IRC chat) Other (e.g. MSN, IRC chat)

8 Advantages of questionnaires Researcher doesn’t need to be present while Ps completes questionnaire so can collect data from large number of Pts cheaply and quickly Researcher doesn’t need to be present while Ps completes questionnaire so can collect data from large number of Pts cheaply and quickly Fewer investigator effects (because fewer interpersonal factors influence Ps as Ps often complete questionnaire alone) Fewer investigator effects (because fewer interpersonal factors influence Ps as Ps often complete questionnaire alone)

9 Advantages of questionnaires Pts may feel more willing to reveal personal information than in interview because researcher is not present Pts may feel more willing to reveal personal information than in interview because researcher is not present Can be easily repeated as questions are normally standardised so easy to establish external reliability (test re-test) Can be easily repeated as questions are normally standardised so easy to establish external reliability (test re-test)

10 Disadvantages of questionnaires Social desirability bias – Pts may want to present themselves in a favourable light so give untruthful answers (especially for sensitive topics) Social desirability bias – Pts may want to present themselves in a favourable light so give untruthful answers (especially for sensitive topics) Low response rates - only most motivated Pts reply so sample may be restricted to a certain type of person (also only suitable for literate Pts) Low response rates - only most motivated Pts reply so sample may be restricted to a certain type of person (also only suitable for literate Pts)

11 Disadvantages of questionnaires Pts may read differently into each question and reply based on own interpretation of question - i.e. what is 'good' to someone may be 'poor' to someone else, therefore there is a level of subjectivity Pts may read differently into each question and reply based on own interpretation of question - i.e. what is 'good' to someone may be 'poor' to someone else, therefore there is a level of subjectivity

12 Factors in questionnaire design Match the factor to the appropriate description on the next page. Match the factor to the appropriate description on the next page. N.B. They are not in the correct order! N.B. They are not in the correct order!

13 Factors in questionnaire design FactorDescription AimThink about Ps boredom and concentrations (don’t include too many questions) LengthSome researchers pay respondents to take part as response rates can be low. Consider the type of sampling. Question orderQuestions need to be written so they are easy to analyse – simpler with closed questions but may limit responses of Ps. Question formulation Be clear on specific research aims – make sure all questions relate to research aim. Ensure there are no unnecessary questions. IncentivesStart with easy Qs, save sensitive Qs until they’ve relaxed. Pilot studyQuestions need to be tested on a small group of people and modified or refined in response to any difficulties encountered. Measurement scaleInclude some filler questions to distract from main purpose of the study (to reduce demand characteristics).

14 Interviews Download the document entitled: ‘Interviews in psychological research’ from the website and complete the mind map in your booklet. Download the document entitled: ‘Interviews in psychological research’ from the website and complete the mind map in your booklet.

15 Exam question practice A psychologist carried out a research study to investigate the effects of institutional care. To do this, she constructed a questionnaire to use with 100 adults who had spent some time in an institution when they were children. She also carried out interviews with ten of the adults. a) For this study, explain one advantage of collecting information using a questionnaire. (3 marks) b) In this study, the psychologist collected some qualitative data. Explain what is meant by qualitative data. (2 marks) c) Write one suitable question that could be used in the interviews to produce qualitative data. (2 marks)

16 Exam feedback (a) 1 mark for a slightly muddled or very brief outline of an advantage. 2 further marks for accurate elaboration. 1 mark for a slightly muddled or very brief outline of an advantage. 2 further marks for accurate elaboration. Data from the hundred adults could be collected relatively quickly because the researcher would not need to be present when the questionnaires were completed Participants might be more willing to answer honestly because they would feel more anonymous as researcher is not present when they respond to questions There might be a reduction in investigator effects; this is because the researcher’s reactions would not be visible so they cannot influence participants’ answers

17 Exam feedback (b) 1 mark for a very brief or slightly muddled answer e.g. qualitative data uses words. 1 mark for a very brief or slightly muddled answer e.g. qualitative data uses words. 2nd mark for accurate elaboration e.g. by comparison or by using an example. 2nd mark for accurate elaboration e.g. by comparison or by using an example. Qualitative is non-numerical data and uses words or pictures. This data can give a better description of what people think or feel compared to quantitative data in numbers. Qualitative is non-numerical data and uses words or pictures. This data can give a better description of what people think or feel compared to quantitative data in numbers.

18 Exam feedback (c) One mark for a question which would produce qualitative data but is not linked to the scenario e.g. “How are you feeling?” One mark for a question which would produce qualitative data but is not linked to the scenario e.g. “How are you feeling?” Two marks for an appropriate question e.g. “Tell me what it was like in the institution” Two marks for an appropriate question e.g. “Tell me what it was like in the institution” 0 marks for a question that would not produce qualitative data. 0 marks for a question that would not produce qualitative data.

19 Homework Revision notes on correlations, ethics, questionnaires and interviews Revision notes on correlations, ethics, questionnaires and interviews


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