Naresh K. Malhotra, Georgia Institute of Technology
This chapter describes the importance of a questionnaire and presents the process for developing questionnaires and observational forms. Guidelines for questionnaire construction are provided at each stage of the process. In addition, commonly used scaling techniques and use of questionnaires in experimentation are discussed and the design of observational forms is presented.1
What Is a Questionnaire?
A questionnaire is a formalized set of questions for obtaining information from respondents. The overriding objective is to translate the researcher’s information needs into a set of specific questions that …show more content…
What Information Is Needed?
The first step in questionnaire design is to specify the information needed. A continual review of the earlier stages of the research project, particularly the specific components of the problem, the research questions, and the hypotheses, will help keep the questionnaire focused. Questionnaires should also be designed with the target respondents in mind, taking into account their educational level and experience. The language used and the context of the questions must all be familiar to the respondents. Questions that are appropriate for college students may not be appropriate for those with only a high school education. Questionnaires that fail to keep in mind the characteristics of the respondents, particularly their educational level and experience, lead to a high incidence of “uncertain” or “no opinion” responses.
How Should Individual Questions Be Framed?
The researcher must determine what should be included in each question. This involves a determination of whether a question is necessary and whether more than one question is needed to obtain the information in an unambiguous way.
Is the Question Necessary?
Before including a question, the researcher should ask, "How will I use these data?"