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Chapter 7 & 9.docx - Lesson 7 A survey is a method by...

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Lesson 7 - A survey is a method by which you gather information by asking a series of questions to a systematically selected group of people that you are interested in ( a population sample) - The most common unit of analysis used in survey research is the individual (AKA respondents or informants), but on occasion, groups or organization are surveyed, where one spokesperson answers for the larger unit - Questionnaire is an instrument designed to elicit information that will be useful for analysis. - You can ask open vs. close ended questions on a survey o Closed Ended Questions You provide a question with answer choices Quite popular in survey research because they provide a greater uniformity of responses and are more easily processed than open-ended ones. o Open Ended Questions You just provide a question and let them provide the answer Open Ended responses must be coded before they can be processed for computer analysis o Closed Ended Questions are more frequently used in part because they are much easier to deal with in the data analysis stage and they provide more uniformity in the answers. - Constructing Closed Ended Survey Questions o Your response choices must always be exhaustive and exclusive o You may form your questions as statements and ask your respondents if they agree or disagree with the statements or you may pose them as questions o Clarity is crucial Make sure your respondents know something about the topic you are asking about o No double-barreled questions These are single items that really ask more than one question I.E. Do you agree or disagree that the lack of parental supervision and the easy availability of guns contributes the rising rate of juvenile violence in this country?” o Short items are best o Do not use negatives unless necessary Do you agree or disagree that marijuana should not be legalized? (NEGATIVE) Do you agree or disagree that marijuana should be legalized? (POSITIVE) o Make sure the language and vocabulary that you use is understandable to your respondent audience o Avoid items that are subtly and/or blatantly biased
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o Ease into sensitive questions and use non-loaded, non-blunt language to elicit sensitive responses. - Constructing An Actual Questionnaire o Aesthetics are important. The questions need to be logically laid out and the questionnaire itself should be easy to read, easy to follow, well-spaced and not crammed onto the page o Ordering of question topics: You can prime responses by the order of your questions so you need to be careful about how you might be influencing respondents through ordering of your questions. o Questions should follow a logical progression. Do not jump around from topic to topic within the questionnaire.
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