Constructing Questions for Interviews and Questionnaires: by William Foddy

By William Foddy

This sensible publication provides a coherent, theoretical foundation for the development of legitimate and trustworthy questions for interviews and questionnaires. It integrates the empirical findings on query layout stated within the social technological know-how literature and develops those insights. William Foddy outlines the issues which can come up while framing questions. He has written a widely invaluable publication for scholar survey practitioners, relatively educational, govt, and industry researchers.

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In particular, attention was drawn to the criticisms that qualitative researchers can never be sure that they have properly identified the concepts used by respondents and that because the steps involved in qualitative research projects are typically poorly specified they cannot be replicated. 2, p. 22) was included. This model depicts question-answer behaviour as involving complex four-step communication cycles. Central to this model is the assumption that before a successful communication cycle can occur, a question must be understood by the respondent in the way the researcher intended, and the answer must be understood by the researcher in the way the respondent intended.

That is, it is possible to think of any topic either in global terms or in terms of a specific number of dimensions. This problem bears on question-answer behaviour in at least three ways: (a) It has to be appreciated that respondents' answers in terms of specific dimensions will not always be congruent with their global judgements. Roslow et al. (1940) cite results from two surveys that demonstrate this fact. ' (August 1939). 5 per cent approved when asked to react globally to Roosevelt's 'international policy'.

In a similar vein, Belson (1981:371), after an intensive analysis of respondents' interpretations of a series of market survey questions, concludes that when respondents find it difficult to answer a question they are likely to modify it so that they can answer it more easily. They might eliminate difficult elements, overlook qualifying phrases and clauses, limit the question to things that they know about, and interpret the scope of the question more or less broadly than the researcher intended.

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