Pros & Cons of Questionnaires for Data Collection

Save

Questionnaires are a commonly used method of data collection in a wide range of fields from psychology to economics that offer researchers a highly structured technique of collecting data on particular issue or topic. Questions can either be open-ended, in which the respondent provides his own answer, or closed -- such as multiple-choice -- in which the respondent selects from a set of given responses.

Scope

  • Questionnaires are employed by researchers who wish to collect factual information regarding patterns, trends, perspectives, attitudes or behaviors of a particular group; they can also be used to identify shifts in these areas over a period of time. Questionnaires cannot, however, explore complex issues in great detail and, according to Roger Sapsford of the Open University and Victor Jupp of the University of Northumbria, are not recommended for use in controversial or sensitive issues, such as sexuality or religious beliefs.

Contact

  • As questionnaires can be posted out or e-mailed to respondents, they offer researchers the ability to reach people spread across a wide geographical area or who live in remote locations. Furthermore, as questionnaires do not require the presence of an interviewer, they can be completed and returned at a time that suits the respondent. However, questionnaires are not suitable for everyone, such as those with impaired vision, and should be kept relatively short to ensure a higher response rate.

Questions

  • Although questionnaires offer the researcher a choice of open-ended and closed questions, they do not provide an opportunity for interaction between the researcher and respondent. This means that a researcher cannot probe for further information on a particular question or issue of interest. Similarly, in cases in which the researcher is not present, a respondent who does not understand a question or cannot categorize his answer into the structured format has no opportunity to help or clarification.

Analysis

  • As questionnaires tend to produce quantitative data, they are relatively easy to analyze, for example with the use of specially designed computer programs. Similarly, their results are easily comparable to other questionnaires, surveys or standardized research projects to gain an overall impression of a particular topic or issue. Questionnaires are, however, prone to low response rates, as participants may lack any incentive for completing the survey or be generally uninterested in the research topic. In addition, data analysis can become complex and distorted when respondents have misunderstood or incorrectly answered a question.

References

  • Photo Credit Digital Vision./Photodisc/Getty Images
Promoted By Zergnet

Comments

Resources

You May Also Like

  • The Pro and Cons of IT Outsourcing

    IT outsourcing is a popular trend that has been around for years. It's also used as a political football since many individuals...

  • How to Conduct a Questionnaire

    A questionnaire is created and distributed by an organization to groups of people. A questionnaire contains many different questions regarding a company’s...

  • Pro and Cons of a Budget

    A budget is a spending plan that you create to help you track your finances for the month. It is important to...

  • Pros & Cons of a Phlebotomy Career

    Phlebotomy involves taking blood samples from patients. Other lab technicians and doctors use these samples to make accurate diagnoses, which doctors then...

  • Ethics in Questionnaires

    Researchers use questionnaire-based tools, such as surveys or interviews, to collect data about beliefs, attitudes, opinions, thoughts and behaviors. Questionnaire-based research can...

  • The Advantages of Using a Questionnaire

    Questionnaires are usually used to collect data from a diverse and large group of people. Some businesses use questionnaires to assess product...

  • Pros and Cons of Child Behavior Checklists

    Behavior checklists are heavily favored by some parents and spurned by others. They serve as a visual reminder and motivator to keep...

  • Pros & Cons of Descriptive Research

    In academic and professional environments, researchers often take on research projects before making definitive statements or taking action involving the subject matter....

  • The Pros and Cons of Using Digital Technology

    In the world of modern technology there are many choices for a consumer to make. One of the choices is deciding between...

Related Searches

Check It Out

Can You Take Advantage Of Student Loan Forgiveness?

M
Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!