Textbook Notes (368,316)
Canada (161,798)
Sociology (1,053)
SOCB05H3 (26)
Chapter 9

Chapter 9

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Katherine Stuart

• 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 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 table 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 Response” benefits: 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 • If it’s not continuous they switch their attention from one topic to another • 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 return • 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 surcharge) Monitoring Returns • Record varying rate of return on a return rate graph which includes days and # of graphs returned • Respondent dates can show biases (if GPA asked, and kids with lower GPA taking longer to respond) Follow-up Mailings • Send a letter for encouragement to participate in survey, with a new cover letter and survey in case they lost/misplaced the original one therefore having no response initially • An original and 2 follow-ups in the most efficient method to increase response rates • Respondents get a postcard attached which is described in the cover letter describing anonymity, after sending in the survey they send the post-card, this way they do not get follow-up after they respond Acceptable Response Rates • Response rate: # of people participating divided by # selected in the sample • 50% response rate is adequate for analysis and reporting, 60% Is good, 70% very good • Some people enclose money in order to get people to respond • Telep
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