2 Questionnaire Definition A questionnaire is a formalized set of questions for obtaining information from respondents.
3 Questionnaire Objectives It must translate the information needed into a set of specific questions that the respondents can and will answer.A questionnaire must uplift, motivate, and encourage the respondent to become involved in the interview, to cooperate, and to complete the interview.A questionnaire should minimize response error.
4 Identify the Form and Layout Questionnaire Design ProcessFig. 10.1Specify the Information NeededSpecify the Type of Interviewing MethodDetermine the Content of Individual QuestionsDesign the Question to Overcome the Respondent’s Inability and Unwillingness to AnswerDecide the Question StructureDetermine the Question WordingArrange the Questions in Proper OrderIdentify the Form and LayoutReproduce the QuestionnaireEliminate Bugs by Pre-testing
5 STEPS IN QUESTIONNAIRE DESIGN Determine what information is required –Translate research objectives into research questionHow variables are going to be measuredThink through the techniques that will give meaning to the dataWhat type of questionnaire to be used in the surveyPersonal interview with questionnaireTelephone interviewMail surveyObservation methodEvaluate the question contentDoes the respondent understand the question
6 STEPS IN QUESTIONNAIRE DESIGN Does the respondent have the information desired?Will respondent give information?Are several questions needed instead of one?Determine question/response formatDo we need dichotomous questions?Should we use ordinal scaled questions?Should we use multiple choice questions?Decide on the wordings of the questions.
7 STEPS IN QUESTIONNAIRE DESIGN Avoid leading questions.Avoid unbalanced questions.Avoid double barreled questions.Avoid questions that involve estimation.Decide on question sequence and logical order –Leading questionsQualifying questionsWarm-up questionsSpecific questionsDemographic questionsDetermine the physical characteristics of the formPretest, revise and final form
8 Individual Question Content Is the Question Necessary? If there is no satisfactory use for the data resulting from a question, that question should be eliminated.
9 Choosing Question Structure Unstructured Questions Unstructured questions are open-ended questions that respondents answer in their own words.Do you intend to buy a new car within the next six months?__________________________________
10 OPEN-ENDED QUESTIONS How much orange juice does this bottle contain? What is your reaction to this new custard powder?Why do you smoke wills cigarettes?How do you feel about cable TV?What is your age?For how many months or years have you been buying petrol at this station?How many members are there in this household?
11 OPEN-ENDED QUESTIONS PROBING Looking back over your experience in shopping there, what have you liked or disliked about Mehtas?Their sales prices are better than those in other stores.(Probe) any thing else?I have just bought there so long i know their merchandise quality.(Probe) Any thing else or why do you say that?
12 Respondent can answer in own words No pre set choices Open ended questionsRespondent can answer in own wordsNo pre set choicesInterviewer encourages elaborationResponse recorded verbatimUsed where range of answers is very wide or unknownUsed to expand on or explain answers to previous questions
13 Use with care and only when necessary Open ended cont’dUse with care and only when necessaryTime consuming to code and data inputDo not use too manyDo not use at end if avoidable
14 Open ended - examples“”What did you enjoy most about your visit to the store today?”_______________________________“Why do you say that?”_________________________________________________________________
15 Closed questionsWhere the respondent is forced to make a selection from predefined responses
16 Selecting question and response formats Closed questions – most common forms are:DichotomousMultiple choiceScale or ratingRankingQuantity
17 Simplest form of closed question DichotomousSimplest form of closed questionRespondent limited to two fixed alternativesAs such do not elicit much depth of informationUsed to confirm status or behaviourOften used in filtering and screening
18 Dichotomous cont’dDo you own a mobile Phone?YesNoDo you have children?Did you buy your TV on credit terms?
19 Respondents given a choice of potential responses to choose from Multiple ChoiceRespondents given a choice of potential responses to choose fromThese can beMutually exclusiveCollectively exhaustive
20 Choosing Question Structure Multiple-Choice Questions In multiple-choice questions, the researcher provides a choice of answers and respondents are asked to select one or more of the alternatives given.Do you intend to buy a new car within the next six months?____ Definitely will not buy____ Probably will not buy____ Undecided____ Probably will buy____ Definitely will buy____ Other (please specify)
21 Mutually exclusiveNo overlapChoose one option onlyCare in design to ensure no overlap occurs“”Within which age bracket do you fall”
22 Mutually Exclusive - example “Within which age bracket do you fall”Incorrect15-2020-3535-5050+Correct21-3536-5051+
23 Collectively exhaustive All potential responses listedRespondent can choose as many as applicableNeed to know most potential answersUse “other” category where necessaryGood for factual informationAlso good for attitudinal data tested and refined in qualitative research
24 Collectively exhaustive - example “”Which of the following stores do you visit in a typical month?”VishalBigBazaarPantaloonRelianceOther – write in___________
25 Scale or rating questions Normally involves assigning numerical measures to subjective concepts such as attitudes, opinions and feelingsNumerical values enable easy comparison between different groups of respondents in analysisMost commonly mentioned in text books are:LikertSemantic differential
26 DIFFERENT TYPES OF RATING SCALES 1. Please put a ✔ mark at an appropriate place on the line below to express your opinion about Bank A.Very Bad_________________________________Very Good2. Please put a ✔ mark at the category which expresses your overall opinion about bank A.Very Bad Very Good3. Please check one of the following category to express your overall opinion about Bank A.Very Bad Bad Neither bad nor good Good Very good        
27 DIFFERENT TYPES OF RATING SCALES 4. Indicate which of the following summarizes your overall opinion of Bank A?Terrible Poor Fair Good Very Good Excellent[ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ]5. How do you overall rate Bank A in comparison to other banks in your town?Much worse Worse About the same Better Much Better[ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ]6. Rank the following by placing a 1 beside the bank you think is best overall, a 2 beside the bank you think is second best, and so on:Bank A ________ Bank B ________Bank C ________ Bank D ________Bank E ________
28 DIFFERENT TYPES OF RATING SCALES 7. In each of the following pairs, which bank in your opinion is overall better? (Please check one bank within each pair.)___Bank A or ___ Bank B ___Bank A or ___ Bank C ___Bank A or ___ Bank D ___Bank A or ___ Bank E ___Bank B or ___ Bank C ___Bank B or ___ Bank D ___Bank B or ___ Bank E ___Bank C or ___ Bank D ___Bank C or ___ Bank E ___Bank D or ___ Bank E8. Allocate a total of 100 points among the following Banks, depending on how favorable you feel toward each; the more highly you think of each Bank, the more points you should allocate to it. (Please check that the allocated points add to 100.)Bank A ________ points Bank B ________ pointsBank C ________ points Bank D ________ pointsBank E ________ points
29 Neither Agree nor Disagree LIKERT SCALE ITEMSStrongly DisagreeDis- agreeNeither Agree nor DisagreeAgreeStrongly Agree1. Counter clerks at the bank are friendly.2. Lines at the counter move slowly3. The bank keeps confidentiality of the transactions.4. The bank offers a variety of products.5. The bank’s operation hours are inconvenient.6. The ATM facilities of the bank breakdown frequently.
30 SEMANTIC DIFFERENTIAL SCALE ITEMS 1.Counter clerks friendly Unfriendly counter clerks2.Slow moving lines at counterFast moving lines at counter3.Confidentiality of transactionsNon-confidentiality of transactions4.Wide product assortmentNarrow product assortment5.Inconvenient bank hoursConvenient bank hours6.Frequent breakdown of ATM facilityRare breakdown of ATM facility
31 It is a double-barreled question, Individual Question Content Are Several Questions Needed Instead of One?Sometimes, several questions are needed to obtain the required information in an unambiguous manner. Consider the question,“Do you think Coca-Cola is a tasty and refreshing soft drink?”It is a double-barreled question,“Do you think Coca-Cola is a tasty soft drink?” and“Do you think Coca-Cola is a refreshing soft drink?”
32 Overcoming Inability To Answer Is the Respondent Informed? In situations where not all respondents are likely to be informed about the topic of interest, filter questions that measure familiarity and past experience should be asked before questions about the topics themselves.A “don't know” option appears to reduce uninformed responses without reducing the response rate.
33 Overcoming Inability To Answer Can the Respondent Remember? How many liters of soft drinks did you consume during the last four weeks?How often do you consume soft drinks in a typical week?1. ___ Less than once a week2. ___ 1 to 3 times per week3. ___ 4 to 6 times per week4. ___ 7 or more times per week
34 Overcoming Inability To Answer Can the Respondent Articulate? Respondents may be unable to articulate certain types of responses, e.g., describe the atmosphere of a department store.Respondents should be given aids, such as pictures, maps, and descriptions to help them articulate their responses.
35 Overcoming Unwillingness To Answer Effort Required of the Respondents Most respondents are unwilling to devote a lot of effort to provide information.
36 Choosing Question Wording Define the Issue Define the issue in terms of who, what, when, where, why, and way (the six Ws). Who, what, when, and where are particularly important.Which brand of shampoo do you use?Which brand or brands of shampoo have you personally used at home during the last month? In case of more than one brand, please list all the brands that apply.
37 Choosing Question Wording The W'sDefining the QuestionWhoThe RespondentIt is not clear whether this question relates to the individual respondent or the respondent's total household.WhatThe Brand of ShampooIt is unclear how the respondent is to answer this question if more than one brand is used.WhenUnclearThe time frame is not specified in this question. The respondent could interpret it as meaning the shampoo used this morning, this week, or over the past year.WhereAt home, at the gym, on the road?
38 Choosing Question Wording Use Ordinary Words “Do you think the distribution of soft drinks is adequate?”“Do you think soft drinks are readily available when you want to buy them?”
39 Choosing Question Wording Use Unambiguous Words In a typical month, how often do you shop in department stores? _____ Never _____ Occasionally _____ Sometimes _____ Often _____ RegularlyIn a typical month, how often do you shop in department stores? _____ Less than once _____ 1 or 2 times _____ 3 or 4 times _____ More than 4 times
40 Choosing Question Wording Avoid Leading or Biasing Questions A leading question is one that clues the respondent to what the answer should be, as in the following:Do you think that patriotic Indians should buy imported electronics when that would put Indian labor out of work? _____ Yes _____ No _____ Don't know Do you think that Indians should buy imported electronics? _____ Yes _____ No _____ Don't know
41 Choosing Question Wording Avoid Implicit Alternatives An alternative that is not explicitly expressed in the options is an implicit alternative.1. Do you like to fly when traveling short distances?2. Do you like to fly when traveling short distances, or would you rather drive?
42 Choosing Question Wording Avoid Implicit Assumptions Questions should not be worded so that the answer is dependent upon implicit assumptions about what will happen as a consequence.Are you in favor of a balanced budget?Are you in favor of a balanced budget if it would result in an increase in the personal income tax?
43 Choosing Question Wording Avoid Generalizations and Estimates “What is the annual per capita expenditure on groceries in your household?” “What is the monthly (or weekly) expenditure on groceries in your household?”and“How many members are there in your household?”
44 Choosing Question Wording Dual Statements: Positive and Negative Questions that are in the form of statements should be worded both positively and negatively.
45 Overcoming Unwillingness To Answer Please list all the departments from which you purchased merchandise on your most recent shopping trip to a department store.In the list that follows, please check all the departments from which you purchased merchandise on your most recent shoppingtrip to a department store.1. Women's dresses ____ 2. Men's apparel ____ 3. Children's apparel ____ 4. Cosmetics ____ Jewelry ____ 17. Other (please specify) ____
46 QUESTIONS NEEDING IMPROVEMENT Would you buy a cheap brand of whisky and serve it from a bottle from an expensive brand to impress your guests?_______ Yes ________ No Would people you associate with buy a cheap brand of whisky and serve it from a bottle from an expensive to impress their guests? Do you like orange juice?
47 QUESTIONS NEEDING IMPROVEMENT Why did you fly to Delhi on Jet Airways?* How often you send your engineers for training programme?__________* Do you perform regular backups of all systems?_________ Yes _________ No Do you watch television programmes regularly? What will be future demand for gold?
48 QUESTIONS NEEDING IMPROVEMENT In your opinion, how many students of your class would be successful managers?a) Ten percentb) Twenty percentc) Thirty percentd) ______ percent Have you ever visited the art museum?* You prefer this brand because you think:a) It is reasonably pricedb) It is tried and tested brandsc) It has a better taste and flavourd) It is good value for moneye) It is a well established brand.
49 QUESTIONS NEEDING IMPROVEMENT Approximately how many long distance telephone calls do you make per week?a) 1 to 2 callsb) 3 to 5 callsc) 5 to 7 callsd) more than 7 calls What do you like about city bank’s automatic-teller machines?a) 24-hour serviceb) Privacy during transactionc) Convenient locationd) No long linese) Other (Please Specify)
50 QUESTIONS NEEDING IMPROVEMENT * Which of the following are key drivers of productivity:- Investment in machinery and equipment _________- Level of education and training of employees _________- Government social security spending _________* Does your organization have adequate safety measures?_________ Yes _________ No Last time you bought toothpaste. did you go for Colgate or not?
51 QUESTIONS NEEDING IMPROVEMENT How many cups of coffee you drank during the year 2005? Do you feel firms today are concerned about their employees and customers?_________ Yes _________ No* Has the company adopted and documented quality standard in accordance with ISO 9000? How important is price to you in buying a new car?___ More important than any other factor___ Extremely important___ Important___ Somewhat important___ Unimportant
52 QUESTIONS NEEDING IMPROVEMENT How important is price to you in buying a new car?___ Very important___ Relatively important___ Neither important nor unimportant___ Relatively unimportant___ Very unimportant* How have been the financial results of the company in this financial year?_______ Bad _______ Average _______ Fair_______ Good _______ Very good
53 QUESTIONS NEEDING IMPROVEMENT * Don’t you think off-shore drilling for oil is environmentally unsound?______ Yes ______ No ______ OpinionDon’t you have a documented SQA (Software Quality Assurance) system?_________ Yes _________ No Why do you use ABC detergent?Do you own or rent this house?Are you favorable, indifferent, or unfavorable toward a 10% increase in city taxes?______ Favorable ______ Indifferent______ Unfavorable
54 ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF STRUCTURED QUESTIONS RELATIVE TO NONSTRUCTURED QUESTIONS EVALUATION CRITERIAADVANTAGES OF STRUCTURED QUESTIONSDISADVANTAGES OF STRUCTURED QUESTIONSVERSATILITYCan be used to study diverse populations;Literacy levels and communication skills of respondents not as for non-structured questions;More topics/ issues can be covered in interview/questionnaire of given lengthNot as good in providing new insights/ideas as non-structured questions;Can not obtain in-depth or detailed responses
55 ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF STRUCTURED QUESTIONS RELATIVE TO NONSTRUCTURED QUESTIONS EVALUATION CRITERIAADVANTAGES OF STRUCTURED QUESTIONSDISADVANTAGES OF STRUCTURED QUESTIONSACCURACYLess chance of interviewer and respondent errors in recording answersNo guarantee that checked responses fully and/or truly reflect respondents’ intended answersRESPONDENT CONVENIENCEMore convenient to respondents in terms of time needed to respond and ease of respondingCOSTCheaper since interviewer time and skill levels required to record and interpret data are usually lower than for non-structured questions
56 ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF STRUCTURED QUESTIONS RELATIVE TO NONSTRUCTURED QUESTIONS EVALUATION CRITERIAADVANTAGES OF STRUCTURED QUESTIONSDISADVANTAGES OF STRUCTURED QUESTIONSTIMELess time to respond as well as to record responses;Collected data can be quickly transferred to computer memory for analysis;In some studies recording coded responses directly into computer terminals as interview is taking place may be possibleMay take more time to design, unless researcher has clear idea of what to ask and what specific responses to expect
57 Determining the Order of Questions Opening QuestionsThe opening questions should be interesting, simple, and non-threatening.Type of InformationAs a general guideline, basic information should be obtained first, followed by classification, and, finally, identification information.Difficult QuestionsDifficult questions or questions which are sensitive, embarrassing, complex, or dull, should be placed late in the sequence.
58 Determining the Order of Questions Effect on Subsequent QuestionsGeneral questions should precede the specific questions (funnel approach).Q1: “What considerations are important to you in selecting a department store?”Q2: “In selecting a department store, how important is convenience of location?”
59 Determining the Order of Questions Logical OrderThe following guidelines should be followed for branching questions:The question being branched (the one to which the respondent is being directed) should be placed as close as possible to the question causing the branching.The branching questions should be ordered so that the respondents cannot anticipate what additional information will be required.
60 Overcoming Unwillingness To Answer ContextRespondents are unwilling to respond to questions which they consider to be inappropriate for the given context.The researcher should manipulate the context so that the request for information seems appropriate.Legitimate PurposeExplaining why the data are needed can make the request for the information seem legitimate and increase the respondents' willingness to answer.Sensitive InformationRespondents are unwilling to disclose, at least accurately, sensitive information because this may cause embarrassment or threaten the respondent's prestige or self-image.
61 Place sensitive topics at the end of the questionnaire. Overcoming Unwillingness To Answer Increasing the Willingness of RespondentsPlace sensitive topics at the end of the questionnaire.Preface the question with a statement that the behavior of interest is common.Ask the question using the third-person technique phrase the question as if it referred to other people.Hide the question in a group of other questions which respondents are willing to answer. The entire list of questions can then be asked quickly.Provide response categories rather than asking for specific figures.Use randomized techniques.
62 Observation number: _________ OBSERVATION FORM FOR RECORDING CHARACTERISTICS & BEHAVIOR OF CUSTOMERS STOPPING AT A SPECIAL DISPLAYObservation number: _________As soon as you observe any adult customer (any customer who appears to be 18 years of age or more) stopping at the display, start your stopwatch, and record the following:1. Sex of the customer:Male _____ Female _____2. Approximate age of the customer:18–30 ____ 31–50 ____ Over 50 ____
63 3. Number of individuals accompanying the customer: OBSERVATION FORM FOR RECORDING CHARACTERISTICS & BEHAVIOR OF CUSTOMERS STOPPING AT A SPECIAL DISPLAY3. Number of individuals accompanying the customer:_____ (If none, go on to item 4.)a) How many of the accompanying individuals areadults? ___b) How many are children? ____4. Does the customer touch or handle the product?Yes _____ No _____5. Do any of the accompanying adults touch or handle the product?
64 OBSERVATION FORM FOR RECORDING CHARACTERISTICS & BEHAVIOR OF CUSTOMERS STOPPING AT A SPECIAL DISPLAY 6. Do the customer or accompanying adults, if any, leave the display with one or more units of the displayed product?Yes _____ No _____How many total units? _____Stop your stopwatch when the customer and accompanying adults, if any, leave the display area. Record below the total time spent at the display:_____ Minutes _____SecondsGo to a new observation form and record information for the next adult who stops at the display.
65 Is marking up the questionnaire ready for analysis CodingIs marking up the questionnaire ready for analysisWhere possible should be done prior to data collection I.e. at design stageIf lots of open ended questions difficult to do at design stageCan be done at analysis stage but more time consuming
66 Eg. Sex of respondent may be coded as 1 for female and 2 for male Coding cont’dIt is assigning a code, usually a number, to each possible response to each questionEg. Sex of respondent may be coded as 1 for female and 2 for maleIn Excel your rows are most likely to represent individual respondents with your columns representing questions
67 Some questions will take up more than one column i.e. scale questions Coding Cont’dSo if Q1 was gender - cell A1 represents the gender of respondent 1 – if the input is 1 they are female 2 they are maleSome questions will take up more than one column i.e. scale questionsCoding at design stage could look like thisAre you?Female ______ (A1)Male _______(A2)
68 Interviewer instructions Must be clearMainly about routing and codingOften written in capitals to stand out from restDo you ever eat Pizza?Yes _____ GO TO Q2No _____ THANK AND CLOSE
69 Flow Chart for Questionnaire Design Fig. 10.2IntroductionOwnership of Store, Bank, and Other Charge CardsPurchased Products in a Specific Department Store during the Last Two MonthsYesNoHow was Payment made?Ever Purchased in a Department Store?CreditCashYesOtherNoStore Charge CardBank Charge CardOther Charge CardIntentions to Use Store, Bank, and other Charge Cards
70 Form and Layout Divide a questionnaire into several parts. The questions in each part should be numbered, particularly when branching questions are used.The questionnaires should preferably be pre-coded.The questionnaires themselves should be numbered serially.
71 A Confidential Survey of Our Subscribers Example of a Precoded QuestionnaireThe American LawyerA Confidential Survey of Our Subscribers(Please ignore the numbers alongside the answers. They are only to help us in data processing.)1. Considering all the times you pick it up, about how much time, in total, do you spend reading or looking through a typical issue of THE AMERICAN LAWYER?Less than 30 minutes30 to 59 minutes1 hour to 1 hour 29 minutes11/2 hours to 1 hour 59 minutes2 hours to 2 hours 59 minutes3 hours or more
72 Reproduction of the Questionnaire The questionnaire should be reproduced on good-quality paper and have a professional appearance.Questionnaires should take the form of a booklet rather than a number of sheets of paper clipped or stapled together.Each question should be reproduced on a single page (or double-page spread).Vertical response columns should be used for individual questions.Grids are useful when there are a number of related questions which use the same set of response categories.The tendency to crowd questions together to make the questionnaire look shorter should be avoided.Directions or instructions for individual questions should be placed as close to the questions as possible.
73 Type of Paper: good quality, official letterhead Covering LetterType of Paper: good quality, official letterheadMaximum length : one side (font 12)Date: in fullRecipient’s name: title, forename, surname,Recipient’s address: in fullSalutation: recipients title & name
74 First set of message: what research is about 2nd set of messages: why recipient’s response is important, how long will it take to complete.3rd set promise of confidentiality or anonymity4th set how results will be used; reward or donation for participant
75 Final set whom to contact in case of queries Covering LetterFinal set whom to contact in case of queriesClosing remarks thank participant for their helpSignature: your’s in blueName & title: yours including forename & surnamePostscript: express thanks or other appropriate message (optional, but Post script is the most visible aspect of letter)Source: Developed from dillman(2000)
76 PretestingPretesting refers to the testing of the questionnaire on a small sample of respondents to identify and eliminate potential problems.A questionnaire should not be used in the field survey without adequate pretesting.All aspects of the questionnaire should be tested, including question content, wording, sequence, form and layout, question difficulty, and instructions.The respondents for the pretest and for the actual survey should be drawn from the same population.Pretests are best done by personal interviews, even if the actual survey is to be conducted by mail, telephone, or electronic means, because interviewers can observe respondents' reactions and attitudes.
77 PretestingAfter the necessary changes have been made, another pretest could be conducted by mail, telephone, or electronic means if those methods are to be used in the actual survey.A variety of interviewers should be used for pretests.The pretest sample size varies from 15 to 30 respondents for each wave.Protocol analysis and debriefing are two commonly used procedures in pretesting.Finally, the responses obtained from the pretest should be coded and analyzed.
78 Observational Forms Department Store Project Who: Purchasers, browsers, males, females, parents with children, or children alone.What: Products/brands considered, products/brands purchased, size, price of package inspected, or influence of children or other family members.When: Day, hour, date of observation.Where: Inside the store, checkout counter, or type of department within the store.Why: Influence of price, brand name, package size, promotion, or family members on the purchase.Way: Personal observer disguised as sales clerk, undisguised personal observer, hidden camera, or obtrusive mechanical device.
79 Questionnaire Design Checklist Table 10.1Step 1. Specify The Information NeededStep 2. Type of Interviewing MethodStep 3. Individual Question ContentStep 4. Overcome Inability and Unwillingness to AnswerStep 5. Choose Question StructureStep 6. Choose Question WordingStep 7. Determine the Order of QuestionsStep 8. Form and LayoutStep 9. Reproduce the QuestionnaireStep 10. Pretest
80 Questionnaire Design Checklist Table 10.1 cont.Step 1. Specify the Information NeededEnsure that the information obtained fully addresses all the components of the problem. Review components of the problem and the approach, particularly the research questions, hypotheses, and specification of information needed.Prepare a set of dummy tables.Have a clear idea of the target population.Step 2. Type of Interviewing MethodReview the type of interviewing method determined based on considerations discussed in Chapter 6.
81 Questionnaire Design Checklist Table 10.1 cont.Step 3. Individual Question ContentIs the question necessary?Are several questions needed instead of one to obtain the required information in an unambiguous manner?Do not use double-barreled questions.
82 Questionnaire Design Checklist Step 4. Overcoming Inability and Unwillingness to AnswerIs the respondent informed?If respondents are not likely to be informed, filter questions that measure familiarity, product use, and past experience should be asked before questions about the topics themselves.Can the respondent remember?Avoid errors of omission, telescoping, and creation.Questions which do not provide the respondent with cues can underestimate the actual occurrence of an event.Can the respondent articulate?
83 Questionnaire Design Checklist Step 4. Overcoming Inability and Unwillingness to AnswerMinimize the effort required of the respondents.Is the context in which the questions are asked appropriate?Make the request for information seem legitimate.If the information is sensitive:Place sensitive topics at the end of the questionnaire.Preface the question with a statement that the behavior of interest is common.Ask the question using the third-person technique.Hide the question in a group of other questions which respondents are willing to answer.Provide response categories rather than asking for specific figures.Use randomized techniques, if appropriate.
84 Questionnaire Design Checklist Step 5. Choosing Question StructureOpen-ended questions are useful in exploratory research and as opening questions.Use structured questions whenever possible.In multiple-choice questions, the response alternatives should include the set of all possible choices and should be mutually exclusive.In a dichotomous question, if a substantial proportion of the respondents can be expected to be neutral, include a neutral alternative.Consider the use of the split ballot technique to reduce order bias in dichotomous and multiple-choice questions.If the response alternatives are numerous, consider using more than one question to reduce the information processing demands on the respondents.
85 Questionnaire Design Checklist Table 10.1 cont.Step 6. Choosing Question WordingDefine the issue in terms of who, what, when, where, why, and way (the six Ws).Use ordinary words. Words should match the vocabulary level of the respondents.Avoid ambiguous words: usually, normally, frequently, often, regularly, occasionally, sometimes, etc.Avoid leading questions that clue the respondent to what the answer should be.Avoid implicit alternatives that are not explicitly expressed in the options.Avoid implicit assumptions.Respondent should not have to make generalizations or compute estimates.Use positive and negative statements.
86 Questionnaire Design Checklist Table 10.1 cont.Step 7. Determine the Order of QuestionsThe opening questions should be interesting, simple, and non-threatening.Qualifying questions should serve as the opening questions.Basic information should be obtained first, followed by classification, and, finally, identification information.Difficult, sensitive, or complex questions should be placed late in the sequence.General questions should precede the specific questions.Questions should be asked in a logical order.Branching questions should be designed carefully to cover all possible contingencies.The question being branched should be placed as close as possible to the question causing the branching, and (2) the branching questions should be ordered so that the respondents cannot anticipate what additional information will be required.
87 Questionnaire Design Checklist Table 10.1 cont.Step 8. Form and LayoutDivide a questionnaire into several parts.Questions in each part should be numbered.The questionnaire should be pre-coded.The questionnaires themselves should be numbered serially.
88 Questionnaire Design Checklist Table 10.1 cont.Step 9. Reproduction of the QuestionnaireThe questionnaire should have a professional appearance.Booklet format should be used for long questionnaires.Each question should be reproduced on a single page (or double-page spread).Vertical response columns should be used.Grids are useful when there are a number of related questions which use the same set of response categories.The tendency to crowd questions to make the questionnaire look shorter should be avoided.Directions or instructions for individual questions should be placed as close to the questions as possible.
89 Questionnaire Design Checklist Table 10.1 cont.Step 10. PretestingPretesting should be done always.All aspects of the questionnaire should be tested, including question content, wording, sequence, form and layout, question difficulty, and instructions.The respondents in the pretest should be similar to those who will be included in the actual survey.Begin the pretest by using personal interviews.Pretest should also be conducted by mail or telephone if those methods are to be used in the actual survey.A variety of interviewers should be used for pretests.The pretest sample size is small, varying from 15 to 30 respondents for the initial testing.Use protocol analysis and debriefing to identify problems.After each significant revision of the questionnaire, another pretest should be conducted, using a different sample of respondents.The responses obtained from the pretest should be coded and analyzed.