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SOAN 2120 (129)
Chapter 9

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University of Guelph
Sociology and Anthropology
SOAN 2120
Scott Schau

Survey Research used for descriptive explanatory and exploratory purposes mostly used in studies where ppl are the object of analysis use questionnaires Appropriate Question Forms Questions and Statements statements can sometimes summarize the attitudes of the respondent using both in a questionnaire gives more flexibility in the design of items and can make the questionnaire more interesting Openended and Closedended Questions openended has the respondent give their own answer to the question must be coded before they are processedclosedended the respondent is asked to select an answer from a choice providedclosedended are highly used bc they create a uniformity closedended questions have 2 structural requirements response categories provided should be exhaustive include all possible answers answer categories must also be mutually exclusive respondent shouldnt feel compelled to choose more than 1 answer Make Items Clear questions should be precise so that the respondent knows exactly what the researcher is asking Avoid DoubleBarrel Questionsa lot of the time researchers ask respondents to give an answer to a question that has multiple parts ie Q Canada should spend less money on welfare and more on educationmany ppl would choose either to agree or disagree but there are others who might think the money should be spent to lower taxes whenever the word and appears in a question make sure it isnt doublebarreledRespondents Must Be Competent to Answer ie researchers asking ppl about childrearing and ask when was the first time they talked back to their parents most ppl wouldnt be able to remember the very first time they talked back Respondents Must be Willing to Answer ppl might be reluctant to tell a stranger what they really think about somethingppl might think they are in a minority if they answer a certain way and therefore sometimes reserve their real answers and say they are undecided Questions Should Be Relevantwhen it is on a topic that respondents are not interested in it is likely that the information wont be very useful this happens when respondents are asked about fictitious ppl ie researcher asks do you know Bob Smith Even though the researcher made up the name Bob Smith yet some ppl might answer yes they know him Short Items are Best respondent should be able to read an item quickly understand it and answer wout difficulty clear items wont be misinterpretedAvoid Negative Itemsask to either agree or disagree with the statement ppl might answer a question should pedophiles be prohibited to teach If they say no but mean yes the results are not conclusive Avoid Biased Items and Terms answer to a question depends a lot on its wording the use of certain wordsterms in a question can affect the outcome of responses a lot of the time ppl want to answer what will make them look good sexist man wouldnt say women should stay in the kitchen in an interview he would agree to equal rightsQuestionnaire Construct General Format should be spread out and uncluttered putting multiple questions on the same line can cause ppl to miss the second question interview questions need to be laid out in a way that supports the interviewers work
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