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Questionnaire Design.

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Presentation on theme: "Questionnaire Design."— Presentation transcript:

1 Questionnaire Design

2 Purposes of the Questionnaire
A questionnaire ensures standardization and comparability of the data across interviews, increases speed and accuracy of recording Facilitates data processing Also allows the researcher to collect the relevant information necessary to address the management decision problem

3 Designing the Questionnaire
Logical Steps to Develop a Good Questionnaire Plan what to measure Formulate questions to obtain the needed information Decide on the wording of questions Decide on the order and layout of the questionnaire Using a sample, test the questionnaire for omissions and ambiguity Correct the problems (pretest again, if necessary)

4 The Major Decisions in Questionnaire Design
1. Content - What should be asked? 2. Wording - How should each question be phrased? 3. Sequence - In what order should the questions be presented? 4. Layout - What layout will best serve the research objectives? The most difficult step is specifying exactly what information is to be collected from each respondent

5 Content: Questions must meet 5 requirements
Are the questions relevant. Do they pertain to the research problem Are the questions accurate. Do they accurately depict the attitudes, behaviors, etc. intended to investigate Do respondents have the necessary information? Qualify respondents Do respondents understand and interpret the question correctly Will respondents give the information?

6 How should the questions be asked?
Format: How much freedom do we give respondents in answering questions Open-ended questions eg. People look for different things in a job. What would you prefer most in a job? Some key advantages Wide range of responses can be obtained Lack of influence. Don't channel respondents thinking Particularly useful as introduction to survey or topic When it’s important to measure the salience of an issue When too many possible responses to be listed or unknown

7 Open-ended questions Key disadvantages Ability and/or willingness of respondent to answer Interviewer’s ability to record answers quickly or summarize accurately & probe effectively Interviewer’s attitude influences response Time consuming (interview sessions, tabulation, classification, assignment, validation) Difficulty in coding Require respondents to be articulate Respondents may miss important points Non-response

8 Closed-ended questions (Fixed-alternative questions)
People look for different things in a job. What would you prefer most in a job? ____ Work that pays well ____ Work that gives a sense of accomplishment ____ Work where you make most decisions by yourself ____ Work that is steady with little chance of being laid off. Advantages Ease of understanding Requires less effort on part of interviewer Ease of tabulation & analysis Less error prone Less time consuming Answers directly comparable from respondent to respondent

9 Closed-ended questions (Fixed-alternative questions)
Disadvantages Middle/Neutral categories often selected inappropriately (ignorance, safety) Less opportunity for self-expression or subtle qualifications Less involving for respondents

10 Closed-ended questions
Order of response categories Can have major impact on results Key tradeoff Want to get respondent to address issues your research is concerned with (Forced response) and at same time give respondent opportunity to honestly opt out of question (i.e., Don’t Know, No Answer, Neither Agree nor Disagree) so as not to dilute data collected

11 Question Wording Can have major impact on how respondent interprets question Things to avoid Avoid Complexity: use simple, direct, conversational language Avoid leading questions -- that suggest or imply certain answers Avoid loaded questions -- that suggest social desirability, or are emotionally charged Avoid ambiguity and vagueness: be as specific as possible Avoid long-worded questions

12 More things to avoid Avoid Ambiguity: Words such as “often”, “occasionally”, “usually”, “regularly”, “frequently”, “many”, should be used with caution. If these words have to be used, their meaning should be explained properly. Avoid double-barreled items. questions that refer to two or more issues within the same question Where respondent may agree with only 1 part of multipart statement. E.g. do you think Nike offers better pricing and variety than other brands Avoid making implicit assumptions Avoid burdensome questions - that may tax the respondent’s memory

13 Sequence & Layout Decisions
Surveys are more than a collection of unambiguous questions How questions are specified and put together will influence the sample’s willingness to participate & the responses they provide Sequence & Layout Decisions Initial stages Need to gain & maintain respondent’s cooperation Make questionnaire simple for interviewer to administer The opening questions should always be interesting, simple, and easy to answer.

14 Beyond initial stages Demographic questions should come at the end.
General questions should be asked before more specific ones Demographic questions should come at the end. Use multiple questions instead of one Similar questions together consistent mindset for respondents Develop a logical flow Use transitions between sections Distinguish question and responses CAPS or BOLD or Underline versus lower case or unformatted

15 Distinguishing question and responses:
LAYOUT A: Do you agree, disagree or have no opinion that this company has: A good vacation policy - disagree/not sure/agree. Good management feedback - disagree/not sure/agree. Good medical insurance - disagree/not sure/agree. LAYOUT B: Does this company have:   Disagree Not Sure Agree     A good vacation policy   1       2       3    Good feedback   1       2    3    Good medical insurance     1      2  3   

16 Filter and pivot questions should be used as necessary.
A FILTER question is one that screens out respondents who are not qualified to answer a second question. A PIVOT question is a type of filter question that is used to determine what version of a second question to ask.

17 Developing a logical flow
If the questionnaire deals with several topics, complete questions on a single topic before moving on to a new topic If topics are related, ask questions on related topics before asking questions about unrelated topics If you ask questions about behaviors over some time period, follow chronological order backward in time When changing topics, use some transitional phrase

18 QUESTIONNAIRE LAYOUT The layout and physical attractiveness of a questionnaire are important aspects Questionnaires should be designed to appear as short as possible Questionnaires should not appear overcrowded Questionnaires in booklet form are often recommended

19 Pretesting and Correcting Problems
Purpose of pretest: To ensure that the questionnaire meets the expectations in terms of the information that will be obtained Missing important variables Pretesting Specific Questions For Variation Meaning Task difficulty Respondent interest and attention Ambiguous, ill-defined, loaded, double-barreled questions Pretesting the Questionnaire Flow of the questionnaire Skip patterns Length Respondent Interest and Attention


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