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Phrasing Questionnaires

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Clear concept regarding Phrasing Questionnaires is very significant in the level of research. Now, we are going to discuss the Phrasing Questionnaires in a chronological manner –

Phrase-01
Open-Ended Questions
Open-ended questions allow the respondent to ask or probe the respondent further if he / she realize clarification of a point, or additional information, is needed. Good for exploratory research. Disadvantage is the difficulties of analyzing the data and in categorizing and summarizing answers because of the unique responses. Also, there is the possibility of interviewer bias and bias caused by the different education levels of the respondents
These require the respondent to answer the question in his or her own words
Examples:
-Why do you like studying at HARVARD?
–Why do you fly with SHIP X, Y or Z?
–How do you assess the economic prospects of Pakistan?

Phrase -02
Fixed-Alternative Questions
Fixed Alternative questions allow the respondent to ask or probe the respondent to further if he/she realize that clarification at a point, or additional information, is needed. Advantages include the requirement like less interviewer time , skills and ease of answer for respondents. Disadvantages are that the researchers the response criteria on assumptions that may be incorrect, and that there may be additional response that may not be conducted and care must be initiated for ensuring the responses categories are mutually exclusive and do not overlap.
These require the respondent to choose, among a limited number of alternatives given responses, the one which coincides closely with his or her view or behavior.
Example:
Do you base your examination preparation on Dr. Khan PDF copies? or do you read the prescribed course literature

Phrase -03
There are several categories of Fixed-Alternative Questions, for example:
The Simple Dichotomy (dichotomous alternative) Question – Respondent can choose one out of two alternatives, for example, “yes” and “no”
The Determinant Choice Question – Respondent must choose one of several acceptable alternatives (Illustrations: Which is your preferable place to sit in an aircraft: First Class, Business Class, and Economy Class)
The Frequency Determination Question – Respondent is asked about the frequency of occurrence Example: How often Do you watch Discovery or National Geographic Channel each week (Every day, 8-9 times a week, 3-7 times a week, 1-2 times a week, less than once a week, never)

Phrase -04
The Checklist Question: Respondent can choose multiple answers to a single question.
Example:
What sources of information would you use to compile your classroom project research paper?
>>Local bookstores
>>University libraries in Islamabad and surroundings
>>Research Institutes
>>The Digital library at CIIT Islamabad
>>Technical Journals
>>Magazines and Newspapers
>>Interviews with Key Stakeholders

Phrase -05
Some important guidelines for phrasing questionnaires include:
Avoidance of Complexity / Use Simple Language: Respondents may have different kinds of academic backgrounds (from illiterate or semi-literate to PhD) and conversational levels (from quiet and shy to articulate) which have to be taken into consideration when designing a questionnaire which is intended for general circulation. Technical jargon should only be considered when the group of respondents is homogeneous and familiar with the jargon
Avoidance of “Leading” and “Loaded” Questions: Both are major sources of bias in the wording of questionnaires. Leading means implying certain answers which respondents are pushed towards; Loading pushes the respondent towards a socially desirable or politically correct answer or puts a question which is emotionally charged

Phrase -06
Counter biasing Statements – Respondents are presented with an introductory statement or preface to a question or section of questions that may help reduce the respondent’s reluctance to answer the question(s)
Avoidance of Ambiguity – Respondents must not be presented with terms and words that are vague or general or which cause confusion and misunderstanding (example: How „frequently “do you go the internet cafe? Do you usually prepare for your examinations alone?
Avoidance of Double-Barreled Questions – Questions which address two or more issues simultaneously

Phrase -07
Avoidance of Assumptions – Respondents are presented with assumptions which cause them to give biased responses
Avoidance of Burdensome Questions – Respondents are asked to give answers to the questions which they may not be in a position to give due to forgetfulness.

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