A document containing all the questions, closed and open-ended, for a survey . Normally, a separate questionnaire is used for each respondent to a survey, providing enough space for answers to be recorded, and subsequently coded for computer-based analysis of all replies to each question. Questionnaires range from the postcard, with a few questions to be filled in by respondents, to long documents to be filled in by trained interviewers. Good questionnaires require a great deal of care and effort, to ensure that the questions are clear and easy to answer, to exclude leading questions unless by conscious design, to prompt and probe respondents' recollections of events that may not always be very recent, and to shape the interview overall so that it is a pleasant and interesting experience for respondents. Special techniques have been developed for questions on sensitive topics, interviewing on life-cycle events and work histories, questions on attitudes, values, and preferences. Questionnaires must also be structured to ensure that people are correctly filtered into or past particular sections-for example, someone who has not been in employment for many years should not be asked questions about their work, and so on. Questionnaires help to standardize interviews , increasing the consistency of enquiry and response, but they cannot completely eliminate interviewer bias .
There is a large and specialized literature on questionnaire design. Experimental testing has shown that (among other things) question wording, the order in which items are presented, the use of intensifiers, and the number and distribution of response categories can all affect the distribution of answers produced by questionnaires. It is well established, for example, that one elicits a different pattern of responses to a question about class identification by asking people to choose between ‘upper class, middle class, and working class’, on the one hand, and ‘upper class, middle class, or lower class’, on the other. (Fewer people are willing to describe themselves as ‘lower class’ than ‘working class’.) Similarly, studies have shown that people respond differently to questions which use intensifiers (‘do you feel reallyunsafe … ?’, ‘have you been particularly dissatisfied … ?’), as compared to the same questions formulated without intensification.
The distribution of response categories that is offered to respondents may also affect the distribution of responses. Some studies suggest that when informants are offered alternatives in numerical form (‘How many hours each week do you watch television-(a) not at all (b) 1 to 3 hours (c) 4 to 6 hours (d) 7 to 9 hours (e) 10 or more hours?’), they think they are being offered a choice that reflects population norms, and may therefore be influenced to avoid the (apparently extreme) end-categories. Someone who watched 15 hours of television each week might feel guilty about appearing to be an outliner, and so choose the ‘7 to 9 hours’ response category instead. However, if the above scale was continued in like fashion and in such a way as to place ‘13 to 15 hours’ in the middle of the range of response options offered, a more honest answer would be elicited. Conversely however, and no less problematically for the researcher, it is also clear that non-numerical and vague quantifiers (Do you watch television ‘hardly ever’, ‘not much’, ‘regularly’, ‘quite a lot’?) mean different things to different people. Ten hours each week may suggest ‘regular’ watching to one respondent but ‘not much’ to another.
These and many of the other design factors that should be borne in mind when constructing a questionnaire are discussed in, Questions and Answers in Attitude Surveys: Experiments on Question Form, Wording, and Content (1996). See also closed response ; open response.

Dictionary of sociology. 2013.

Игры ⚽ Нужна курсовая?

Look at other dictionaries:

  • QUESTIONNAIRE — Technique d’investigation utilisée en psychosociologie mais aussi dans d’autres domaines de la psychologie. Les questions composant le questionnaire peuvent être de deux types: soit des questions ouvertes ou à réponse libre (une question est… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • questionnaire — ques‧tion‧naire [ˌkwestʆəˈneə, ˌkes ǁ ˈner] noun [countable] a written set of questions which you give to a large number of people in order to collect information: • Consumers filled out a detailed questionnaire about their smoking habits. * * *… …   Financial and business terms

  • questionnaire — 1. (kè stio nê r ) s. m. 1°   Ouvrage ou partie d ouvrage dans lequel se trouvent formulées les questions que l on peut adresser à des élèves sur les objets de leurs études. 2°   Série de questions que l on pose pour servir de guide à une enquête …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré

  • questionnaire — (n.) 1901, from Fr. questionnaire list of questions, from questionner to question, (see QUESTION (Cf. question) (v.)). Purists preferred native formation questionary (1540s) …   Etymology dictionary

  • questionnaire — ques tion naire , n.; pl. { naires} (F. ?). [F.] 1. same as {Questionary}. [Webster 1913 Suppl.] 2. A list of questions, usually on a printed form, to be answered by an individual. The forms often have blank spaces in which the answers can be… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • questionnaire — I noun blank, canvas, census, examination, examination paper, form, form to be completed, form to be filled in, inquiry, poll, public opinion poll, question list, request for information, statement, study, survey associated concepts: questionable …   Law dictionary

  • questionnaire — is spelt with two ns and is normally pronounced with an initial syllable kwest rather than kest …   Modern English usage

  • questionnaire — Questionnaire. s. m. Celuy qui donne la question aux accusez …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • questionnaire — ► NOUN ▪ a set of printed questions, usually with a choice of answers, devised for a survey or statistical study. ORIGIN French …   English terms dictionary

  • questionnaire — [kwes΄chə ner′, kwes΄tyəner′] n. [Fr: see QUESTION, vt.] a written or printed form used in gathering information on some subject or subjects, consisting of a set of questions to be submitted to one or more persons …   English World dictionary

  • Questionnaire — A questionnaire is a research instrument consisting of a series of questions and other prompts for the purpose of gathering information from respondents. Although they are often designed for statistical analysis of the responses, this is not… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”