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You need to take expert advice in setting up a questionnaire, ensure that all the information about the respondents which you need is included and filled in, and ensure that you actually get them returned.Expecting people to pay to return postal questionnaires is sheer folly, and drawing up a really lengthy questionnaire will also inhibit response rates.Closed questions tend to be used for asking for and receiving answers about fixed facts such as name, numbers, and so on.
If you ask open questions such as ‘what do you think about the increase in traffic?
’ you could elicit an almost endless number of responses.
Data is often used to generate new hypotheses based on the results of data collected about different variables.
One’s colleagues are often much happier about the ability to verify quantitative data as many people feel safe only with numbers and statistics.
Even the production of numbers is guided by the kinds of questions asked of the subjects, so is essentially subjective, although it appears less so than qualitative research data.
: an area of study that would benefit from qualitative research would be that of students’ learning styles and approaches to study, which are described and understood subjectively by students.
Look at the very brief outlines of different methods below.
Consider which you intend using and whether you could also find it more useful to combine the quantitative with the qualitative.
The Household Survey and Census ask closed questions, and often market researchers who stop you in the street do too.
You might ask them to indicate how true for them a certain statement was felt to be, and this too can provide both a closed response, and one which can be quantified (30% of those asked said they never ate rice, while 45% said they did so regularly at least once a week... The problem with closed questions is that they limit the response the interviewee can give and do not enable them to think deeply or test their real feelings or values.