Research Raymond Martin 3C1; 858-9342, rdmartin_ja@ yahoo.com email@example.com Methodologies
Lecture #9 Survey Research
Lecture 9 – Survey Research A survey is a method of gathering information from a sample of individuals. This is unlike a census where all members of the population are studied.
Lecture 9 – Survey Research Steps in the process: • Identify the population • Choose the sample • Develop the questionnaire • Supervise the interviews • Process the data collected • Analyse the data • Report the survey findings
Lecture 9 – Survey Research Why are surveys conducted? • To determine public opinion on national issues • pre-election polls • To provide information for planning • To evaluate projects • To determine company ratings • To determine the feasibility of a venture
Lecture 9 – Survey Research Surveys may be classified by their method of data collection: • Face to face • Mail • Questionnaire • Telephone interview • Exploratory
Lecture 9 – Survey Research Questionnaire vs Interview: • Questionnaire is less expensive • Questionnaire has lower return rate • Questionnaires protect the respondents identity • Questions may be misinterpreted • Interviews are flexible; researcher can clarify • Interviewer controls order of questions • Interview only for illiterate
Lecture 9 – Survey Research Rate of return influenced by: • Length of the questionnaire • The cover letter • Sponsorship • Presentation • Ease of completion • Ease of returning • Follow-up procedures
Lecture 9 – Survey Research Surveys may be concerned with opinions or attitudes or factual characteristics or behaviours. Many combine questions of both types.
Lecture 9 – Survey Research Respondents may be asked: - if they heard or read about an issue - what they know about it - their opinion - how strongly they feel and why - their interest in the issue - past experience with it
Lecture 9 – Survey Research Also required are factual information that will help the survey analyst classify their responses such as: - age - gender - marital status - occupation and - place of residence
Lecture 9 – Survey Research Types of Questions/Items • Completion/fill-in • Checklists • Scaled Items • Ranking • Likert-type items; allows the respondent to rate opinion from highly positive to highly negative
Lecture 9 – Survey Research Important points • Arrangement of the questionnaire • Layout of questionnaire Checklists • Pre-testing the instrument • Administering the questionnaire
Lecture 9 – Survey Research Essential Elements of the Cover Letter • The purpose of the study • A request for cooperation • Protection of the respondent • Sponsorship of the study • Promise of results • Appreciation • Date of the letter • Request for immediate return
Lecture 9 – Survey Research “The most critical features for successful survey research are the sample and the survey instrument” “Survey instrumentation is the science of asking questions” Singleton and Straits (1999).
Lecture 9 – Survey Research The questionnaire items should relate to a research question/subtopic. • What is the perception of students about the research methodologies course?
Lecture 9 – Survey Research The Questionnaire Open-ended question (free-response) • To what extent has the research methodologies course fulfilled your expectations? Close-ended question (fixed-choice) • Did the research methodologies course meet: ( ) none of your expectations ( ) some of your expectations ( ) all of your expectations
Lecture 9 – Survey Research What other questions could be used to address the topic: • What is the perception of students about the research methodologies course?
Lecture 9 – Survey Research Response formats for closed-ended questions • ( ) Yes ( ) No • Don’t know option should be included
Lecture 9 – Survey Research Response formats for closed-ended questions Ordinal response scales e.g. Likert response scale The research methodologies course was exciting ( ) Strongly agree ( ) Agree ( ) Uncertain ( ) Disagree ( ) Strongly disagree
Lecture 9 – Survey Research Response formats for closed-ended questions Ranking responses The research methodologies course was enjoyable for several reasons. Rank the factors below from 1 to 5 according to their contribution to your enjoyment: ( ) There is no final exam ( ) I got to watch the matrix ( ) I could hand in my assignments by Email ( ) The lecturer is stupid ( ) I got to work in groups
Lecture 9 – Survey Research Format The opening • Use interesting and non-threatening topic at beginning. • The first question should be a question the respondent would be expected to be asked • It should be easy to answer • Good to start with open-ended question
Lecture 9 – Survey Research Format Order, Flow and Transition • The order must seem logical. • Difficult questions should be in the middle after the respondent has become committed • Question order is critical as some questions may influence others later down • Transitions between major topics should be considered. e.g. Okay now I would like to change the subject slightly to …
Lecture 9 – Survey Research Writing the Items Using language effectively The manner in which a question is asked is very important. In a NBC/Wall Street poll two very similar questions were asked with different results: Source: http://www.amstat.org/sections/srms/brochures/survwhat.html
Lecture 9 – Survey Research Do you favour cutting programs such as social security and medicare to reduce the budget deficit? The results: 23% favour, 66% oppose, 11% no opinion. Do you favour cutting government entitlements to reduce the budget deficit? The results: 61% favour, 25% oppose; 14% no opinion Source: http://www.amstat.org/sections/srms/brochures/survwhat.html
Lecture 9 – Survey Research Writing the Items Using language effectively - Items should be unambiguous e.g. Sex ___ - Avoid words such as usually, few, here - Use appropriate vocabulary
Lecture 9 – Survey Research Writing the Items Avoid double-barreled questions - Do you believe that males are more intelligent than females and should be given leadership positions?
Lecture 9 – Survey Research Writing the Items - Avoid emotionally loaded words - Avoid leading questions that suggest a possible answer - Contingency questions are only asked to a part of the sample. Filtering questions avoid time wasting.
Lecture 9 – Survey Research Pretesting As soon as the instrument is drafted it should be tested on a small sample with characteristics similar to the target group of respondents.
Lecture #10 Qualitative Research
Contrasting Characteristics of Qualitative and Quantitative Research (Source: Wiersma, 2000)
Case Study • Concerned with studying a particular individual, situation or event • Captures the reality of a particular environment at a point in time • The study of two or more cases is called a multiple or collective case study.
Ethnography • Study of human culture within a well defined community • Establishes link between culture and behaviour • Naturalistic Observation • Researcher spends long hours in the community • Participant or non-participant observation • Records made using detailed narratives, audio, video or field notes • Limitation is that some behaviours are private and opinions and intentions may not be captured.
Phenomenology • Study of an event from the subject’s perspective • Answers the question “What is it like to experience…?” • Lengthy interviews used (1-2 hrs) • 5-25 individuals • Researcher removes all bias
Secondary Data Analysis • Data collected by other researchers • Sources • Official statistics, private documents, mass media, physical material, data from previous research • Method • Procure data • Measure and restructure key concepts • Evaluate data quality • Assess data completeness
Secondary Data Analysis Cont’d • Advantages • Data collection does not affect producer • Allows the past to be studied • Less expensive • Allows more ground to be covered in short time • Advantages • May not be accurate • The assumptions and limitations may not be clear
Analysing Qualitative Data Interviews and observations • Examine the scripts for common themes and others that occur • Look for significant statements • Software packages exist to assist with the analysis of texts. Some allow you to search for particular codes or words
Analysing Quantitative Data • Observation Data • Quantified forms of observation can be tabulated • Questionnaire • Both qualitative and quantitative data but more quantitative • Experiments • Quantitative data
Statistics • Descriptive • Organising the data to make it more intelligible • Uses proportions, percentages, central tendencies, variation. • e.g. 20% of respondents said yes. • Inferential • Used to compare measurements collected from your sample with another sample or population so that judgement can be made about how similar or dissimilar groups are. • e.g. chi-squared, t-test, correlation, regression.
Findings and Interpretations FINDINGS • Express in words what the tables, graphs, averages, percentages etc are saying. • e.g. Among the 16 students who studied more than the average amount of the time 69% received an above average result in the history examination while among those who studied less, 14% received an above average result.
Findings and Interpretation INTERPRETATION • Consider the research question • Ask questions about what you found • What is significant? • What does it suggest? • How could the study be developed further?
Data Presentation • Tables • Pie Charts • Graphs