THE QUESTIONNAIRE DESIGN Prepared By: Manoj Patel Assistant
Professor JHUNJHUNWALA BUSINESS SCHOOL, FAIZABAD
The Questionnaire Definition: A questionnaire is a set of
carefully planned written questions related to a particular
research topic which, when submitted to and answered accurately by
properly selected persons called respondents, will supply data to
complete the research project.
Advantages of the Questionnaire 1. The questionnaire is easy to
construct. 2. Distribution is easy and inexpensive. 3. Tabulation
of responses is easy. 4. The respondents replies are of his own. 5.
Confidential information may be given freely. 6. Respondents can
fill out the questionnaire at their own convenience. 7. More
accurate replies may be given.
Disadvantages of a Questionnaire 1. The questionnaire cannot be
used with illiterates. 2. Some or many respondents may not return
the questionnaire. 3. A respondent may give a wrong information. 4.
Respondents may leave some or many items unanswered. 5. Some
questions or items may be vague to the respondents. 6. The number
of choices may be very limited.
Construction of a Questionnaire The following are the steps in
the construction of a questionnaire: 1. Making research in the
library. There might be some theses or dissertations dealing with
studies similar to the research problem at hand. The questionnaire
in these studies may serve as models in the construction of one. 2.
Interviewing knowledgeable people. Talking to people who know the
principles of questionnaire construction may help a lot.
3. Mastering the guidelines. The guidelines learned from the
theses and dissertations and from knowledgeable people must be
mastered before writing a questionnaire. 4. Writing the
questionnaire. Write the questionnaire following as much as
possible the guidelines learned. 5. Editing the questionnaire.
After the questionnaire has been written, it must be shown to
people who know about questionnaire construction, especially to an
adviser if there is one, for correction and suggestions for the
improvement of the questionnaire.
6. Rewriting the questionnaire. The questionnaire must be
rewritten according to corrections and suggestions for the
improvement of the questionnaire. 7. Pretesting the questionnaire.
This is called a dry run. This is the process of determining the
validity and reliability of the questionnaire and determining the
clarity of the items, the difficulty in answering them, the proper
time length of answering, attractiveness and other problems. 8.
Writing the questionnaire in its final form. The questionnaire
should now be written in its final form after making the necessary
corrections, adjustments, and revisions after the dry run.
TYPES OF QUESTIONS ASKED IN SURVEY QUESTIONNAIRES A. According
to form: 1. The free answer type. The respondent is free to answer
the question in his own words and his own way. This is called the
open form, open ended, subjective, unrestricted, essay, free
response, and unguided response type. 2. The guided response type.
This is also called the closed form or restricted type. The
respondent is guided in making his reply. There are two kinds of
this type (a) recall and (b) recognition types.
a. Recall Type. The replies are recalled and supplied. Example:
Please supply the following asked for: (a) Graduate Course finished
_________ (b) School graduated from ___________ (c) Year of
graduation _______________ b. Recognition Type. There are options
given and the respondent chooses his reply or replies. There are
three types: dichotomous, multiple choice, and multiple
1. Dichotomous. There are only two options and one is chosen.
Example: Are you employed? Yes ____ No____ 2. Multiple Choice.
Several options are given but only one is elected as a reply.
Example: What program do you prefer to take? Please check. _____
Education _____ Nursing _____ Commerce _____ Optometry _____
Medicine _____ Computer _____ Engineering _____ Others _____
3. Multiple Response. Two or more options may be chosen from
those given. Example: Why do you used Hapee toothpaste? Please
check your answers. ______ It sweetens my breath ______ It makes my
mouth fresh ______ It prevents tooth decay ______ It is cheap
______ It is available all the time ______ It is made in the
country ______ It is economical
B. According to the Type of Data asked for: 1. Descriptive Data
(Verbal Data) Example: In What kind of community do you live.
Please check. ____ City ____ Town ____ Barrio 2. Quantitative Data
(Numerical Data) Examples: (1) What is your daily wage? ____ (2)
What is the total income of your family?____
3. Intensity of Feeling, Emotion or Attitude Example: Do you
agree that RH bill be implemented? Please check your attitude.
_____ Strongly agree _____ Agree _____ Fairly agree _____ Disagree
_____ Strongly disagree
4. Degree of Judgment Examples: (1) How serious is drug
addiction in your university? Please check. ______ Very Serious
______ Serious ______ Fairly Serious ______ Not Serious ______ Not
(2) How efficient is your graduate statistics Professor? Please
check. ______ Very efficient ______ Efficient ______ Fairly
efficient ______ Inefficient ______ Very inefficient 5.
Understanding Example: Explain what a dictatorship form of
6. Reasoning Example: Why do you prefer a surprise examinations
in statistics for research? Important Characteristics of Research
Instruments including the Questionnaire I. Validity means the
accuracy by which an instrument gathers information for which it is
intended to gather. Example: If data about the teaching of
statistics are needed, then the instrument must gather data about
the teaching of statistics and not data about the teaching of any
II. Reliability means consistency of measurement that is, if an
instrument administered to the same group it should give the same
or about the same average measures of the two groups. Guidelines in
the Formulation of Items or Questions for a Questionnaire 1. Make
the questionnaire as valid and as reliable as possible. To do this,
the following suggestions are offered: a. Make all directions
brief, clear and unequivocal. While there are general directions,
there should be a direction for every specific type of questions
Example: Poor direction for multiple choice items: Answer the
following questions. Better: For each question, choose the best
answer from among those given and put a check mark before your
choice. b. Use correct grammar. Punctuation marks should be placed
properly to avoid misinterpretation. Example of poor grammar:
Please accomplish the questionnaire as soon as possible return it.
Better: Please accomplish the questionnaire and return it as soon
c. Make all questions brief, clear and unequivocal. Specify the
precise units in which the answer is to be given to avoid
misinterpretation. Examples: Vague Question: What is your income?
Better: What is your monthly income? Poor Question: Are you married
or not? Better: Are you married? d. Avoid asking biased or leading
questions. A biased or leading questions is one in which there is
veiled suggestion for answer.
Example of a biased question: Do you use Hapee Toothpaste? If
no, what brand do you use? In this question, there is veiled
suggestion to make Hapee as the answer. The respondent may think
that because Hapee is mentioned, it is the best toothpaste, and so
has the tendency to say yes. Better: What brand of toothpaste do
you use? Example of a leading question: Why do you use Hapee
toothpaste? This is a leading question if there is no preceding
question asking what brand of toothpaste the respondent is using.
If he says he is using Hapee toothpaste, the question is good.
However, if the respondent answers the question without telling him
first that he is using Hapee, that is an admission that he is using
Hapee although actually he is not.
e. Objectify Responses. This is to make easier for the
respondent to make replies and for the standardization of responses
for easier tabulation. Example: Why do you use Hapee toothpaste?
Instead of requiring the respondent to write his responses, give
all the possible reasons and let him check his replies. ____ It
sweetens my breath better ____ It makes my mouth feel fresher ____
It is cheaper ____ It is available all the time ____ It last longer
____ Others, please specify
f. Relate all questions to the topic under study. All questions
must gather data relevant to the study. If the study is about the
teaching of behavioral statistics, all questions should gather data
that have something to do with the teaching of behavioral
statistics. g. Create categories or classes for approximate
answers. There are questions that cannot be answered with the
precise units desired. Create categories or classes that
accommodate such approximate replies. Such categories may be
qualitative or quantitative.
Examples: Qualitative How adequate are the library references
in USJ-R? ______ Very adequate ______ Adequate ______ Fairly
adequate ______ Inadequate ______ Very inadequate
Quantitative How much commission do you earned a month by
selling cars? _____ P3,000 under P6,000 _____ P6,000 under P9,000
_____ P9,000 under P12,000 _____ P 12,000 under P15,000 _____
P15,000 under P18,000
h. Group the questions or items in logical sequence. The
following are some ways of grouping questions: 1. Questions or
items may be grouped according to the specific questions asked
under Statement of the Problem. All questions that gather data to
answer one specific question should be grouped together. Example:
Specific Question: How qualified are the professors handling
statistics? All questions dealing with degrees earned, majors or
specializations, units in statistics, special training and seminars
in statistics attended, teaching experiences, and aptitude in
statistics should be grouped together.
2. Questions that deal with items that are logically related
should be grouped together. Example: Question about demographic
characteristics such as age, sex, civil status, place of birth,
ethnic origin, native language, etc. should be grouped together. 3.
In each grouping, easier questions should be asked first. 4.
Questions should be given in successive steps if the study deals
with a process such as rice farming, building construction,
i. Create a sufficient number of response categories. This is
to include the respondents correct choice. If the correct choice of
the respondent is not included among the options and he is required
to make a response, his reply would be wrong. Example: Do you agree
that statistics be taught by mathematicians? ______ Agree ______
Disagree If the respondent does not know which is better, to allow
or not to allow mathematicians to teach statistics, his response is
not among the options and if he is required to answer, his answer
Better number of responses or options: ______Strongly agree
______ Agree ______ Uncertain or do not know ______ Disagree ______
Strongly disagree j. Word carefully or avoid questions that deal
with confidential or embarrassing information. Suppose a woman
respondent has left her husband. You want to know why she left her
husband in connection with your study on family relations.
Poor Question: Why did you leave your husband? The causes might
be too embarrassing to reveal and so she may give distorted reasons
that reduces the validity of the questionnaire. Better Question: In
your opinion, why do some wives leave their husbands? If all
possible reasons are given, she may check those that apply to her
since the question does not specifically or directly refer to her.
k. Explain and/or illustrate difficult questions. Difficult
questions especially those with unfamiliar technical terms should
be clarified or illustrated to avoid misunderstanding and a wrong
l. State all questions in the affirmative. A question in the
affirmative can be answered categorically but a categorical reply
to a question in the negative has to be explained. Example: Are you
employed or not? If the respondent is not employed he can say yes
but this is vague. So if he is employed his answer should be Yes, I
am employed or No, I am not employed. Better: Are you employed?
This can be answered by a categorical yes if the respondent is
employed or by categorical no if he is not employed.
m. Add catch all word or phrase to options of multiple response
questions. This is important because the respondent may have
additional information which he may want to give. Example: Why did
you take up psychology as your profession? ____ I am interested in
HRD positions. I love to deal with job applicants ____ It is unique
from other courses ____ It is easy to get a position after
graduation ____ The salary is good enough for me ____ Others
(Please specify) The word Others is the catch all word.
n. Make the respondents anonymous. This will make the
respondents give true information freely thinking that they will
not be held liable to any offense since they are not known. o.
Pre-test the questionnaire after writing it. This is important to
determine the worth of the questionnaire. The process is to
administer the questionnaire to at least ten persons who have the
same characteristics as those who are to be requested to fill up
the questionnaire but who will not be involved anymore in the
study. Then after the administration of the questionnaire, the
pre-test respondents may be asked to the following questions:
1. Are the directions, statements, questions, or items clear
and unequivocal? Are they brief but unambiguous? 2. Do the
questions or items gather intended data? Are the responses those
called for? 3. Are there sufficient numbers of possible responses
or choices for multiple choice and multiple questions? Are all
possible replies to a question included? 4. Are all data to be
gathered relevant to the topic of the study? 5. Is the
questionnaire organized in its proper format? Are the items grouped
logically? 6. Is answering the questions easy enough? Are the
replies so objectified that replies are only in the form of check
marks, letters, numbers or short words or phrases? What
difficulties have been encountered in filing of the
7. Are all questions or items worded carefully so as to avoid
embarrassment or indictment? Are they in correct grammar? 8. Are
there catch all words or phrases for multiple response questions?
9. Is the questionnaire free from all kinds of bias? 10. Are the
respondents anonymous? 11. Are the data to be gathered by the
questionnaire sufficient and adequate enough to complete the study
and to make the conclusions and other generalizations valid and
tenable? 12. Is the questionnaire too long that it becomes boring
to finish filing it up? 13. If some questions are not answered, why
are they not answered?
14. Are the spaces for writing the replies adequate and
properly placed? 15. What suggestions can you give to improve the
questionnaire? What items should be eliminated, added, or
clarified? 2. The questionnaire should be accompanied by a good
cover letter. A good cover letter in the form of a request should
be made as cordially and politely as possible to make the
instrument more acceptable to the respondents. The letter should
explain the purpose of the study, the importance of accomplishing
it and within reasonable period of time, that the information
gathered should be kept and treated as confidentially as possible
to avoid any embarrassment or trouble to anyone, and with a promise
that the respondents shall be informed of the results of the study
if they so desire.
3. The questionnaire must be accompanied, if possible, by a
letter of recommendation from a sponsor. The sponsor should be one
who has some influence over the respondent to insure the
accomplishment and return of the questionnaire.
THE INTERVIEW Definition: An interview is a verbal interaction
between two persons, one called the interviewer who ask questions
to gather information and the other called the interviewee who
supplies the information ask for. Advantages of the Interview Among
the advantages of the interview are the following: 1. It yields a
more complete and valid information. If there is a reply of
doubtful value, the interviewer can at once check veracity of such
2. It can be used with all kinds of people. Anybody, literate
or uneducated, rich or poor, laborer or otherwise, can be
interviewed. 3. Any vague point can be clarified at once. This will
enable the interviewee to give accurate information. 4. Subliminal
cues may be observed by the interviewer. The non verbal reactions
of the interviewee such as the expression of his face, the nodding
or shaking of his head, and the gestures of his hands may reveal
some important facts that are useful to the study
5. Only the interviewee can make a reply. The responses are
truly of the respondents, unlike in the questionnaire in which the
respondent may delegate somebody to accomplish it making the
responses of doubtful value. 6. There is flexibility. The
interviewer can always modify the conduct of the interview whenever
there is a need.
DISADVANTAGES OF THE INTERVIEW Among the disadvantages of the
interview are the following: 1. Some respondents are hard to
contact. This is true especially if the respondents are too busy or
are abroad at the time of the interview. 2. It is expensive. This
is true if the study is big and many interviewers are needed.
Expenses for training of interviewers plus their salaries may be
3. Some responses may be inaccurate. This is true if the
respondent has no time to consult his records if pressed for an
immediate answer. 4. It is time consuming. This is true if the
researcher alone conducts the interview. 5. It is inconvenient for
both interviewer and interviewee. There is inconvenience if the
interview is conducted in an unholy hour or if the interviewee is
too busy. The interviewer has to travel also long distances
6. Important data may be witheld. Since there is no anonymity,
the interviewee may evade to answer some embarrassing questions or
may withold some important confidential information if he does not
trust the interviewer. 7. Some bias may be introduced. There is
always the tendency for interviewers to get some information that
would redound to their expectations or benefit or that would
benefit their interview employers and so they unknowingly introduce
what is known as interviewers bias.
8. Standardization of questions and responses may be lessened.
When an interviewer revises a question because of certain reasons,
the standardization of the questions and the responses is lessened
and categorization and tabulation become difficult.
TYPES OR CLASSES OF INTERVIEWS Treece and Treece Jr. Classify
interviews as follows: 1. Standardized interview. In this type of
interview, the interviewer is not allowed to change the specific
wordings of the questions in the interview instrument. This is the
same as the formal interview and structured interview. 2.
Non-standardized interview. In this type of interview, the
interviewer is not tied up to the interview instrument. He may
revise or explain the questions as he sees fit depending upon the
situation. This is the same as the informal interview and non
3. Semi standardized interview. In this type, there are listed
major questions to be asked and once they are asked and answered,
the interviewer is free to ask any question as he sees fit
depending upon the situation. This is the same as the semi formal
or semi structured interview.
THE INTERVIEW INSTRUMENT Types of Interview Instruments I. The
interview schedule. The interview schedule is the same as a
questionnaire. The preparation and validation of an interview
schedule are the same as those of the questionnaire. The only
difference is that in the interview schedule the questions are
asked orally by the interviewer and the interviewee answers also
orally. Besides, it is the interviewer who writes the answer of the
interviewee. In the questionnaire, the respondent himself reads the
questions and writes his answers.
Remark: The interview schedule is usually used in standardized
or structured interviews. II. The interview guide. The interview
guide does not ask specific questions but only provides general
ideas from which the interviewer derives his questions to get the
needed information. The interviewer is free to ask any question
depending upon the situation but of course the questions must be
relevant to the major question or idea provided by the interview
guide. Remark: The interview guide is usually used in non-
standardized or semi standardized interviews.
Example: An interview guide for gathering data about the
teaching of statistics in the tertiary level. INTERVIEW GUIDE Name
(Optional) ______________________ Date _________ Address
Qualifications of statistics instructors/professors Methods and
strategies in teaching college statistics Facilities in the
teaching of college statistics Supervisory assistance to the
instructors / professors Problems encountered in teaching
statistics Proposed solutions to the problems
STEPS IN THE INTERVIEW The following are the steps or pointers
to be followed in the interview: 1. Preparatory step. The following
are included in the planning stage: a. Preparation of the
instrument whether interview schedule or interview guide. b.
Selection of the population and locale of the interviews. c.
Selection of the interviewees. d. Selection of the type of
interview whether structured or unstructured.
2. Making a survey of the specific places for interviews. For
general research, the interviewer naturally goes to the dwelling
places of the interviewees or to their places of work. What is
important is that the place of the interview must be as quiet as
possible with minimum distractions. 3. Established rapport. There
must be a cordial and friendly atmosphere between the interviewer
and the interviewee. The interviewer must take pains in
establishing one. He must explain as politely as he can the purpose
and importance of the interview. The interviewee may have some
benefit otherwise it must be clear to him the information he
imparts will be treated with the utmost confidentiality and that he
will not be placed in any compromising or embarrassing situation
nor will there be any indictment brought against him for any
information he reveals.
4. Carrying out the interview. Conduct in a polite, friendly,
and conversational manner. Praise and thank the interviewee for
many important information that he imparts. If the interviewee
finds difficult in expressing himself, the interviewer may help him
out but he must maintain his objectivity. He must avoid being
biased . The interviewer must also be very tactful. If the
respondents becomes uncooperative , the interviewer must use all
his resourcefulness in winning back the cooperation of the
5. Recording the interview. Record the interview results
immediately with the utmost objectivity. Record exactly what the
respondent said and shown overtly. Do not interpret yet. 6. Closing
the interview. In closing the interview. Thank the interviewee for
the data he has given and the inconvenience he has gone through.
Make him feel that he has contributed a great deal to the
completion of the data you need.
WHAT TO AVOID IN INTERVIEWS There are things that may spoil an
interview and should be avoided. Among of these are the following:
1. Avoid forcing an interview upon a respondent. He may not give
accurate and reliable information. 2. Avoid arguing. Disagreeing
with or contradicting the interviewee often may make him withhold
vital data for fear of being contradicted again.
3. Avoid pressing unduly the respondent for a reply. He may
give wrong information just to comply. 4. Avoid using unfamiliar
language to the interviewee. If he does not understand the
language, he may make a wrong reply or does not reply at all. 5.
Avoid talking about things not related to the topic of the
interview. This will prolong the interview and will bring more
inconvenience to both interviewer and interviewee.
6. Avoid embarrassing the interviewee. Word very carefully
questions that deal with morality, integrity, or sexual habits.
Touch very gently, if unavoidable. 7. Avoid appearing too high in
social status. If the interviewee feels that he is too low in
education, knowledge and social status compared with his
interviewer he becomes shy and may not cooperate. 8. Avoid
conducting the interview in an unholy hour. When the respondent is
too busy attending to some important matter, or when he is hungry,
or the like, it is not wise to interview him specially if the
interview is a long one. He may not cooperate fully. Wait for some
OBSERVATION Definition: Observation is gathering data by means
of the senses such as sight, hearing, taste, touch, and smell. The
sense of sight is the most important and the most used among the
senses. Observation is very much used in studying overt
PURPOSES OF OBSERVATION The following are purposes of
observation (why observation is needed). 1. To gather empirical
data difficult to gather by other means. This is especially true in
anthropological studies where the life cycle, social and economic
activities, the motivations and aspirations, and other beliefs and
practices of a group are to be described in more detail. 2. To
gather data to supplement or to verify data gathered by other
means. For instance, data gathered by a questionnaire show that the
library is rich. An occular inspection may verify the truth of the
data gathered by the questionnaire.
3. To gather data which can be obtained only through
observation. In individual case studies, especially in clinical,
psychiatric cases, observation of the behavior of the subjects is
an indispensable tool in gathering data for the case studies. 4. To
gather directly primary or first-hand information. This is to make
description and interpretation more valid and reliable. 5. To
gather data through experimentation. Observation is indispensable
in experimentation. The results of experiments are collected only
through observation. Generally, data gathered by means of
experimentation are more valid and reliable because the variables
involved are under the control of the experimenter.
TYPES OF OBSERVATION I. Participant and nonparticipant
observation a. In participant observation, the observer engages
himself in the activities of the group being observed. He may even
live and work with the group for a length of time to enable him to
learn all the ins and outs of the activities of the group, its
beliefs, customs, and traditions, etc. Anthropologists usually do
this in studying tribal groups. b. In nonparticipant observation,
the observer does not participate in the activities of the group
being observed. He is just a bystander using his five senses
gathering data for his study.
II. Structured and Unstructured Observation. a. In structured
observation, the items of a variable to be observed are specified
and listed down. This is usually used in nonparticipant
observation. b. Unstructured observation, on the other hand, is one
in which the observer does not have any list of items to be
observed. Any object, condition, situation, or behavior that is
relevant to the research investigation is included in the
observation. Unstructured observation is generally used in
participant or uncontrolled observation.
III. Controlled and Uncontrolled Observation. a. Controlled
observation is used in experimental studies in which the
experimental as well as the non- experimental variables are
manipulated and controlled by the experimenter. While the
experimental variable is manipulated by the researcher, the non-
experimental variables are kept constant or are kept equal so that
change in the dependent variables is attributable only to the
independent variable. Controlled observation is usually done in the
b. In uncontrolled observation, no attempt is made to control
the variables to be observed. In many cases, the variables to be
observed are beyond the control of the observer. This is especially
true in observing natural phenomena and the behavior of subjects
involved in status studies. Uncontrolled observation is similar to
unstructured observation and is usually utilized in participant
ADVANTAGES OF OBSERVATION The following are the advantages of
observation: 1. The information gathered is more accurate, valid,
and reliable. This is so because the information is direct,
first-hand information. 2. Observation can be made as long and as
many times it is needed. The observer can make long and several
observations to ensure the accuracy and reliability of his
3. Observation is the only technique of collecting data from
inanimate objects and nonverbal behavior. No other means can be
used to collect such data 4. The subjects of the inquiry can be
observed in their natural setting. This will ensure a more accurate
and valid interpretation of data. This is especially true in
participant, uncontrolled and unstructured or even in controlled
observation. 5. Observation results can be checked and verified. If
observation has been delegated and the results are of doubtful
value, the results can be checked and verified by another or
repeated observations by different observers may be made.
CHARACTERISTICS OF OBSERVATION FOR RESEARCH PURPOSES
Observation for systematic investigational purposes may be
distinguished from ordinary observation as follows: (Good and
Scates) 1. Observation is specific. The observation is specific
with carefully defined data to look for, not just looking around
for general impressions. 2. Observation is systematic. There must
be a system in the observation. It is not merely a chance dropping
in on a situation at any time when one happens to be passing by.
The length of the periods of observation, the interval between
them, and the number of observations are carefully planned.
CHARACTERISTICS OF OBSERVATION FOR RESEARCH PURPOSES 3.
Observation is quantitative. The observation is quantitative,
usually with a tally of the number of instances of a particular
type of behavior has occurred; sometimes a total duration of the
particular conduct during the period of observation, or some other
accountable or measurable characteristic; sometimes a diagram is
made showing special relationship, etc. 4. Observation is recorded
immediately. A record is made of the observation immediately, or as
promptly as possible, not entrusting the recording of the results
CHARACTERISTICS OF OBSERVATION FOR RESEARCH PURPOSES 5.
Observation is expert. Observation is expert, that is, it is done
by an investigator who has special training for such work. This is
essentially true in clinical and psychiatric cases where expert
observation skills and techniques are very much needed. However, in
ordinary community and school surveys where graduate students are
generally engaged, the investigator observer need not be very
trained to be able to gather data for his study. 6. Observation is
objective. The results of observation must be recorded as they are
and treated as they are even if they are not in accordance with
expectations. That is research. Bias must not influence the
treatment of the results.
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