SOCB05H3 Chapter Notes - Chapter 9: Stamped Envelope, Combined Oral Contraceptive Pill, Contingency Table

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2 Dec 2011
Chapter.9 – Survey Research
Topics Appropriate to Survey Research
Respondent: a person who provides data for analysis by responding
to a survey questionnaire
“Push polls” – phony telemarketers pushing you to vote against
opposing candidates
Guidelines for asking questions
Sometimes asked by interviewer or written down to be answered
Choose appropriate question forms
Strongly agree, agree, disagree etc…using such text gives you more
flexibility and interesting (Rensis Likert/Likert Scale)
Open-Ended and Closed-Ended Questions
Open-ended: the respondent gives his own answer to the question
Closed-ended: the respondent has to choose from given options
both have their drawbacks (open-ended hard to analyze, closed-ended
not enough options)
Structuring Questions
Make them Clear
Avoid Double-Barreled Questions (do not use the word “AND”)
Respondents must be competent to answer (people don’t remember
what they wore last week)
Respondent must be willing to answer (some people are not
comfortable telling their salary)
Questions should be relevant (only if people have insight can they
respond to given questions)
Short Items are best (should be able to read it quick, understand it and
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answer it)
Avoid Negative Items (make sure you don’t use “NOT”)
Avoid Biased Items and Terms (“Don’t you agree…..”?)
Questionnaire Construction
General Questionnaire Format
Spread out questions so people are not forced to write in tiny spaces or
have no room to answer
Formats for Respondents
Make boxes that they can check off, keep it professional if survey is on
the computer ex.
Use numbers on the sides for respondent choice 1. Yes 2. No 3.
Don’t know
Contingency Questions
Survey applies ONLY to people who answer “yes” to first questions
assuring their involvement in survey (cannot ask me how they feel
during pregnancy)
If “yes” comes more than once it is known as a complex contingency
Ex. Are you a woman? If yes, did u ever take birth control pills? If yes,
did it impact health?
Matrix Questions
Also known as “Likert Responsebenefits: space efficient, easier to
answer, quickly review answers
Disadvantages: might have to structure question to fit format, may
agree with everything (response-set/ may think all question are about
liberal view and miss-read questions in hurry)
Ordering Items in a Questionnaire
It is important to ask open-ended questions first, otherwise they will
make their answer consistent to previous answers
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If it’s not continuous they switch their attention from one topic to
Begin questionnaire with most interesting set of items
Try to start off with demographic data (age, gender etc…) in a face-to-
face situation to have a formal approach BUT avoid in a written survey
otherwise it may seem dull and boring
Questionnaire Instructions
Clear instructions/ introductory comments ex. “In this portion we
would like to know….”
Rank-ordering only used when no way of getting data; (1, 2, 3, 4, 5…)
Pretesting the Questionnaire
Give it to a diverse set of 10 people before full distribution (look for
problems/difficulties etc…)
Make sure the options are easy for data entry
Self-Administered Questionnaires
Surveys administered through telephone, face-to-face and by mail
Other techniques used are door to door/mailed and then picked up/
dropped off and picked up
Mail Distribution and Return
Send a questionnaire with instructions and a stamped envelope for
Some people think it’s’ trouble keeping the envelope or might lose it so
researchers construct surveys in such a way where they can be sent as
is when folded, such methods improve study
You pay for peoples stamps whether they reply or not (cheapest way)
next to business-reply permit (pay for those that are used and a nickel
Monitoring Returns
Record varying rate of return on a return rate graph which includes
days and # of graphs returned
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