Questionnaires – Theory and Methods

Lesson objectiveTo explore questionnaires
Lesson outcomes• Assess when and how to use them
• Analyse their usefulness
• Explain what questionnaires are

For your introduction, you need to always mention:


What, who, why


Questionnaires are a list of questions from which the participant has to respond to. They can either be open or closed questions depending on the aim of the research. There are many different ways in which questionnaires can be used, such as online, face to face etc.

Who and Why.

Questionnaires are mainly used by positivists, due to them being mostly standardised (each one is done in the same way), increasing validity etc. Questionnaires can be used to gather quantitative or qualitative data or both.


Studies you need to refer to.

S.HITE (1991) (remember the full stop). They found that questionnaires are not well suited to personal topics such as sex etc. Because of this, a low turn out rate was received resulting in a low sample size, 4.5%, which naturally affects generalisability.

BOWLES AND GINTIS (1976).  237 questionnaires were given to New York Higher School students to gain information on character traits that were rewarded by the school. There was a reasonably large sample size which increased generalisability.

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