Session 5 Section B Group 6_Difficulties with questionnaire Sushil Kumar (13FPM010)

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Difficulties with questionnaire

A questionnaire is a research instrument or tool consist a set of questions used for data collection from the respondents.  The research problem and research objectives decide directives to design a proper questionnaire ensuring the minimisation of errors.  It provides clear instructions and space for answers and administrative details. In other words, it is the true reflection of the research objectives in form of questions.  Respondents need to be made aware of the purpose of the research wherever possible to getproper and complete answer.

On the basis on the structure of the questions, the questionnaires are categorised:-

a)      Structured Questionnaire: This is usually associated with the quantitative research which is more concerned with numbers and facts.   It consists of definite and concrete questions and is prepared well in advance

b)      Unstructured Questionnaire: The pattern of the questions in this questionnaire is not fixed because it changes as per the demand of the situations and contexts.  It acts as the guide for the interviewer and is very flexible in working.

Apart from this, the type of questions included in the questions become a basis for its categorisations like open- ended and close –ended questionnaires.

Difficulties with questionnaires:

The researcher invariably ensures to minimise any sort of gaps or difficulties in the questionnaire so as to get the right data from the respondents.  It is seen that there are different types of difficulties in the questionnaire which affect the kind and quality of responses. They are as follows:

a)      Question type

Any questionnaire has open – ended or close ended questions and scale based questions.

The open-ended questions are meant to record the descriptive and additional responses.  It helps the customers to share the relevant information related to the questions asked.  the main difficulty with this type of questions is that it poses significant problem in interpretation. It is costly in terms of data analysis.

Who is your favorite actor?

What do you think about people who shop at malls ?

The close-ended or dichotomous questions limit the responses by choices.  In case of lack of clarity in questions, the respondents randomly choose any of the choices or skip it. In such situations, the incomplete or irrelevant data is collected which does not serve the purpose of the research.

Do you intend to buy a new car within the next six months?

                        _____Yes
                        _____No
                        _____ Don’t know

b)     Question wordings

It is frustrating when people misunderstand a question that has been painstakingly written. This problem is partially due to the lack of a shared vocabulary. The difficulty of understanding long and complex sentences or involved phraseology aggravates the problem further. The difficulties caused by questions wording exceed most other sources of distortion in surveys. The biased wording also reduces the chances of getting exact data as the respondent some time ignore or refuse to answer such questions.

Leading questions: – Leading questions inject significant error by implying that one response should be favoured by another. It sometimes creates a confusion to relate the responses and in this process the appropriateness of data is overlooked.

Loaded questions: These types of questions are administered based on the prior assumptions. The prior assumptions sometimes match with the questions and help to get the right responses. On the other hand, in case of mismatch, the responses are completely unexpected and become of no use for the research work.

Double-barrelled questions: It becomes very dilemmatic for the respondents to answer two questions through one response. The respondents usually choose the first part of questions and leave the other portion of it.

“Do you think Coca-Cola is a tasty and refreshing soft drink?”                                                                                                                                                        (Incorrect)

“Do you think Coca-Cola is a tasty soft drink?” and

“Do you think Coca-Cola is a refreshing soft drink?”                                                                                                                                                                        (Correct)

Order bias: In case of non-numeric responses, the participants often choose the first alternative (primacy effect) or the last alternative (recency effect) over the middle ones. The improper order of alternatives often create a kind of unclarity  in the minds of the respondents. As a result he selects either the first option or last options and proceeds for next questions.

c)      Pattern of language used

The difference of the language between the respondents and researcher emerges as bigger problem for data collection and its validity.  The respondents find it hard to understand the different or mixed languages. In such situations, they misinterpret the questions and their responses do not match with what is actually required.

Section B Group 6_Sushil Kumar (13FPM010)

Other Member:

  • Apurva Ramteke(13PGP068)
  • Chandan Parsad(13FPM002)
  • Komal Suchak (13PGP086)
  • Rohan Kr. Jha (13FPM004)
  • Silpa Bahera (13PGP107)
  • Vaneet Bhatia (13FPM008)
  •  Vivek Roy (12FPM005)
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