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Date Created: 03/20/15
Chapter 7 Survey Research Why conduct surveys survey method is an important way for researchers to study relationships among variables and ways that attitudes and behaviors change overtime survey research is also important as a complement to experimental research ndings Constructing Questions to ask de ning the research objectives 0 when constructing questions for a survey the rst thing the researcher must do is explicitly determine the research objectives what is it that he r she wishes to know 0 the survey questions must be tied to the research questions that are being addressed 0 Three general types of survey questions attitudes and beliefs 0 focus on the ways that people evaluate and think about issues facts and demographics factual questions ask people to indicate things they know about themselves and their situation Behaviors focus on past behaviors or intended future behaviors Question wording 0 potential problems with question wording stem from dif culty with understanding the question including unfamiliar technical terms vague or imprecise terms ungrammatical sentence structure phrasing that overloads working memory amp embedding the question with misleading information o simplicity Questions asked in a survey should be relatively simple people should be able to easily understand and respond to the questions 0 doublebarreled questions Avoid doublebarreled questions that ask two things at once ex quotshould senior citizens be given more money for recreation in centers and food assistance programsquot 0 loaded questions a loaded question is written to lead people to respond in one way ex do you favor eliminating the wasteful excesses in the public school budget 0 negative wording avoid phrasing questions with negatives ex do you feel the city should not approve the proposed women39s shelter 0 quotyeasaying and quotnaysaying Refers to when you ask several questions about a topic a respondent may employ a response set to agree or disagree with all of the questions although it is possible that someone could legitimately agree with both items in a survey consistently agreeing or disagreeing with a set of related questions phrased in both standard and reversed formats is an indicator that the individual is quotyea sayingquot or quotnaysayingquot Responses to questions 0 Closedended vs Openended questions with closedended questions a limited number of response alternatives are given more structured approach and easier to code with openended questions respondents are free to answer in any way they like ex asking what is the most important thing children should learn to prepare for life 0 followed by either a list of answers from which to choose closedended or you could leave the question open ended for the person to provide the answer 0 Number of Response Alternatives with closedOended questions there are a xed number of response alternatives 0 Rating Scales ask people to provide quothow muchquot judgments on any number of dimensions amount of agreement liking or con dence for example can have different formats based on factors such as the topic being investigated the simplest and most direct scale presents people with ve or seven response alternatives witht eh endpoints on the scale labeled to de ne the extremes 0 Graphic ratingscale requires a mark along a continuous 100millimeter line that is anchored with descriptions at each end a ruler is then placed on the line to obtain the score on a scale that ranges from 0100 semantic differential scale a measure of the meaning of concepts that was developed by Osgood and his associates Respondents are asked to rate any concept person objects behaviors ideason a series of bipolar adjective using 7point scales 0 nonverbal scales for children ex drawings of faces to aid in the assessment of the level of pain that a child is experiencing similar scales can be used to ask children to make ratings of other things such as a toy Finalizing the Questionnaire Formattind the Questionnaire o printed questionnaire should appear attractive and professional 0 neatly typed and free of spelling errors 0 respondents should nd it easy to identify the questions and the response alternatives to the questions 0 leave enough space between questions so people do not become confused when reading the questionnaire 0 consider sequence in which questions are asked re ning questions 0 before administering survey good idea to give the questions to a small group of people and them think aloud while answering them Administering Surveys Questionnaires