Disadvantages of questionnaires pdf

This article has multiple issues. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. Patients may exaggerate symptoms in order to make their situation seem worse, or they may under-report disadvantages of questionnaires pdf severity or frequency of symptoms in order to minimize their problems. Patients might also simply be mistaken or misremember the material covered by the survey.

Questionnaires are a type of self-report method which consist of a set of questions usually in a highly structured written form. Questionnaires can contain both open questions and closed questions and participants record their own answers. Interviews are a type of spoken questionnaire where the interviewer records the responses. Interviews can be structured whereby there is a predetermined set of questions or unstructured whereby no questions are decided in advance. The main strength of self-report methods are that they are allowing participants to describe their own experiences rather than inferring this from observing participants. Questionnaires and interviews are often able to study large samples of people fairly easy and quickly. They are able to examine a large number of variables and can ask people to reveal behaviour and feelings which have been experienced in real situations.

However participants may not respond truthfully, either because they cannot remember or because they wish to present themselves in a socially acceptable manner. Social desirability bias can be a big problem with self-report measures as participants often answer in a way to portray themselves in a good light. Questions are not always clear and we do not know if the respondent has really understood the question we would not be collecting valid data. If questionnaires are sent out, say via email or through tutor groups, response rate can be very low.

Questions can often be leading. That is, they may be unwittingly forcing the respondent to give a particular reply. Unstructured interviews can be very time consuming and difficult to carry out whereas structured interviews can restrict the respondents’ replies. Therefore psychologists often carry out semi-structured interviews which consist of some pre-determined questions and followed up with further questions which allow the respondent to develop their answers. Questionnaires and interviews can use open or closed questions, or both. However these questions do not allow the participant to give in-depth insights.

Although these type of questions are more difficult to analyse, they can produce more in-depth responses and tell the researcher what the participant actually thinks, rather than being restricted by categories. A statement is used and the participant decides how strongly they agree or disagree with the statements. For example the participant decides whether Mozzarella cheese is great with the options of “strongly agree”, “agree”, “undecided”, “disagree”, and “strongly disagree”. One strength of Likert scales is that they can give an idea about how strongly a participant feels about something. This therefore gives more detail than a simple yes no answer. Another strength is that the data are quantitative, which are easy to analyse statistically.