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Chapter 7

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Anna Nagy

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Chapter 7Asking People about Themselves Survey ResearchWhy Conduct Surveysprovide us with a methodology for asking people to tell us about themselveshave become extremely important as society demands data about issues rather than only intuitionwe think of survey data as providing a snapshot of how people think and behave at a given point in timesurvey method is an important way for researchers to study relationships among variables and ways that attitudes and behaviours change over timesurvey research important as a complement to experimental research findingswhen issuing questionnaires and interviews to people it is assumed they are providing truthful and accurate answersresearchers try to study bias in the way people respondresponse set is a tendency to respond to questions from a particular perspective rather than to provide answers directly related to the questionsmost common response set called social desirability or faking good meaning that the individual answers in the most socially acceptable way the way most other people wouldsocial desirability is strongest when individuals are asked about sensitive issues Defining the Research Objectives when constructing questions for a survey the researcher must determine what heshe wants to knowsurvey questions must be tied to the research questions being addressedthere are three general types of research questionsattitudes and beliefshow people evaluate and think about issuesfacts and demographicsasking people things about themselves and their situationsbehaviourspast and intended future behaviours Question Wordingproblems in understanding questions come from unfamiliar technical terms vague terms ungrammatical sentence structure phrasing that overloads memory and embedding questions with misleading infothe following are important when writing questionssimplicityquestions should be simple easy to understand and respond todouble barreled questionsavoid asking two things in one questionloaded questionsavoid questions that lead people to respond in one way
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