Sociological methods -Topic 5- Questionnaires
The data from questionnaires tends to be limited and superficial because they need to be fairly brief since most respondents are unlikely to complete and return a long, time-consuming questionnaire. Limits the amount of information that can be gathered from each respondent May sometimes be necessary to offer incentives (entry into a prize draw) to persuade respondents to complete the form The researcher can’t be sure whether the right person has received the questionnaire, or cannot be sure if the returned questionnaire was actually completed by the person to whom it was addressed
Very low response rates can be a major problem because few of those who receive a questionnaire bother to complete or return it Researchers who use questionnaires tend to pay more attention to the need to obtain unrepresentative samples. For these reasons the findings of questionnaires are more likely to allow us to make accurate generalisations about the wider population from which the sample was drawn If follow up questionnaire are sent and if questionnaires are questioned by hand, this adds to the cost and time. The problem of none response is sometimes caused by faulty question design. Each respondent may give different thought to each question. Inflexibility:
Questionnaires are a very flexible method
Once a questionnaire has been finalised the researcher is stuck with the questions they have asked to decide and cannot explore any new areas of interest should they come up during the course of the research Questionnaires as snapshots:
Fail to produce a fully valid picture because they do not capture the way people’s attitudes and behaviour changes This snapshot contrasts with the moving image of social life that methods like participants observation can provide Detachment:
Questionnaires like validity and do not give a true picture of what has been studied Postal...
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