What are the Pros and Cons of Questionnaires?

What are the pros and cons of questionnaires? Questionnaires and surveys are a form of quantitative research that aims to collect meaningful data on a particular topic so it can be analyzed for trends and patterns. Questionnaires are very common. Retail websites typically use them to assess their customers’ shopping experience, hotels often ask you to fill a questionnaire in at the end of your stay so you can rate the comfort of the bed and the quality of the food, and you probably waste lots of time filling in daft online surveys on the Internet to discover useless things such as “What type of lover are you—romantic or raunchy?”

There are four types of questionnaire: in person, online, mail, and telephone questionnaires, and each has its own pros and cons, but although questionnaires and surveys are sometimes fun (and more often annoying), are they actually useful and what are the pros and cons of questionnaires and surveys?

What are the pros of questionnaires?

1.    A questionnaire can be purposely designed to be very specific, so instead of asking lots of random questions, the researcher can target certain groups based on age, gender, ethnicity, and social class. Such specificity can be very useful in targeting key sections of society.
2.    A questionnaire is an excellent way of collecting factual information and raw data from a large number of people, particularly if the questionnaire is an online, mail or telephone survey.
3.    Questionnaires carried out across a wide number of people are usually a time effective and economical way of collecting a large amount of raw data for the purposes of statistical analysis.
4.    Questionnaires using closed questions can be statistically analyzed and their results are often presented in the form of charts and graphs. Statistical analysis techniques using questionnaires are very often used as part of scientific studies.

5.    Questionnaires can be useful for helping researchers to identify a smaller representative sample from a much larger cross section of individuals.

What are the cons of questionnaires?

1.    Some types of questionnaires are not very economical to undertake: telephone interviews are costly to set up since a third party market research company will need to be recruited to carry out the interviews.
2.    Some types of questionnaire are less effective than others at generating data.
3.    There is a risk of participant bias of the subjects for the questionnaire if the participants are not carefully chosen.
4.    Questionnaires not given in person can be open to mis

5.    The results of some forms of questionnaire, for example postal and email surveys, could be affected by different levels of literacy in the target audience and respondents might not understand the questions, which would affect the validity of the results.
6.    A poorly designed questionnaire is likely to produce unreliable results.
7.    Questionnaires can be affected by response bias whereby the respondent gives answers that he/she thinks the researcher is looking for.
8.    Questionnaires carried out in small communities can be subject to confidentiality issues if there is a chance the respondent can be identified from their answers.



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