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M.Plan,2nd Sem
1. What is a Questionnaire ?

A questionnaire is a technique for collecting data in which a respondent provides answers to

a series of questions.

A questionnaire is an instrument for collecting data, and almost always involve asking a
given subject to respond to a set of oral or written questions.

Developing a questionnaire to collect the data requires effort and time.

However, by taking a step-by-step approach to questionnaire development, you can come up
with an effective means to collect data that will answer your unique research question.

Formulation means the action of creating or preparing something.

- There are nine steps involved in the development of a questionnaire:

1. Decide the information required.

2. Define the target respondents.
3. Choose the method(s) of reaching your target respondents.
4. Decide on question content.
5. Develop the question wording.
6. Put questions into a meaningful order and format.
7. Check the length of the questionnaire.
8. Pre-test the questionnaire.
9. Develop the final survey form.

There are certain rules that refer to basic aspects of the formulation of questions and are
applicable to all forms of questioning whether it is personal, verbal, by telephone or written.

• Use simple, unambiguous terms, which can be understood by all respondents in the
same way.

"What do you think the economic situation in India will be like at the end of 2011? Much
better than it is now, slightly better, the same, slightly worse or much worse?“

• Avoid long and complex questions.

"As you know, some people are quite politically active, while other people often don’t
have time or aren’t interested in taking an active part in political stuff. I will now give
you a list of things that people do. Tell me in each case how often you personally do stuff
or how often it happens.

• Avoid hypothetical questions.

"Let’s assume you have won a million pounds on the lottery – would you then give up
work or would you keep working?"
• Avoid stimuli and negatives.

You like music by Chopin, but don’t like listening to music by Wagner. "Chopin yes,
Wagner no" could be a possible correct and conceivable answer. As the respondent may
only answer with a "yes" or "no" we do not know if "yes" means that they like listening to
Chopin and Wagner or if they are just reacting to one of the stimuli with a "yes" – if so,
which one are they reacting to?

• Avoid assumptions and suggestive questions.

"Leading scientists believe that car exhaust emissions can hinder the growth of children.
Do you think this view is correct or do you think it is wrong?"

• Avoid questions which target information to which many respondents probably

don't have access.

"Can you name the leader of Liverpool City Council?”

• Avoid Embarrassing Questions: Making respondents feel uncomfortable by asking

details about personal or private issues which in turn can lead to losing trust.
“how often do you shower?”

• Use questions with a clear temporal reference.

"... since the 1st of April", "..on your 16th birthday", ".. up until the 31st of
January." or ".. in the last three working days..."

• Use answer categories which are exhaustive and disjointed (free from overlap).

"How many lectures on the subject of "healthy living" have you attended so far in the
year 2000?" with the answer categories "none" – "one lecture" – "two to five lectures" –
"five or more lectures?"

• Make sure that the context of a question does not have an (uncontrolled) effect on
the answer.

"What is your general opinion of the CDU (Christian Democratic Union)?"

• Define unclear terms.

“what is the average number of days each week you have butter ?

Determining the types of questions

The types of questions must be determined before the questions can be drafted. Most
questionnaires contain a variety of question types, depending on the information sought.

Open-ended questions

Open-ended questions, such as

"How would you describe the pain you feel?", allow the subject to answer freely in his or her
words. Such questions can be a rich source of responses and are used in particular to
determine feelings or opinions.

A disadvantage to this approach is that the data must be summarized for computation and
statistical analysis, and the diversity of answers is lost. In addition, because someone has to
interpret and categorize each answer, inferential error may be introduced. Sometimes the
answers are best used verbatim to illustrate a point under discussion rather than as a summary
statement. Moreover, such responses depend on the subject's ability and willingness to recall
events or feelings.

• It encourages short & single-word answers.

• Allow respondents to include feelings, attitudes and understanding of the subject.

Closed-ended questions

Closed questions, such as

"Are you feeling any pain now?", force the subject to select from among the answers already
chosen by the researcher. The subject does not have to rely on recall since the choices
provided may prompt memory. The choices must be all-inclusive and mutually exclusive.
However, subjects may resent a forced choice, particularly concerning emotions or personal
matters, and they may tire of long lists of choices and then not complete the questionnaire.

• Cannot be answered with a simple Yes or No

• Easy to administer, the resulting data are easy to summarize.

• Semi-closed questions

• Semi-closed questions, such as

• "When you were discharged from the hospital were any of the following medications
prescribed?: pain killers, antibiotics, sleeping medication or other medications (please
specify)", offer the subject a limited number of choices to facilitate recall and the freedom
to include additional information.

Formulating the questions

There are several important warnings to bear in mind while drafting questions:
 Avoid ambiguous words; for example, in the question "Do you often have nosebleeds?",
the word "often" is ambiguous, and its meaning will likely vary from person to person.
The question would be better if worded "How many nosebleeds have you had in the
past 2 weeks?".

 Avoid leading questions such as "Don't you think pain killers should be available on
demand?". The phrase "Don't you think" indicates that the researcher has already
determined the preferred answer, and its use might encourage the respondent to agree.

 Double negatives in a sentence cause confusion and lead to uninterruptable responses.

"Do you think that lack of money is not an issue in obtaining health care?" would be
more clearly stated as "Do you think that lack of money is an issue in obtaining health

 Avoid double-barrel questions.

"How satisfied are you with your pay and job conditions?“
“Should the government spend less money on the military and more on education?"

Designing a Questionnaire

1. Identify the goal of your questionnaire

What kind of information do you want to gather with your questionnaire? What is your
main objective? Is a questionnaire the best way to go about collecting this information?

• Come up with a research question. It can be one question or several, but this should be
the focal point of your questionnaire.

• Develop one or several hypotheses that you want to test. The questions that you
include on your questionnaire should be aimed at systematically testing these

2. Choose your question type or types

• Depending on the information you wish to gather, there are several possible types of
questions to include on your questionnaire, each with unique pros and cons. Here are
the types of commonly used questions on a questionnaire.

• Dichotomous question: this is a question that will generally be a “yes/no” question,

but may also be an “agree/disagree” question. It is the quickest and simplest question
to analyze, but is not a highly sensitive measure.

• Open-ended questions: these questions allow the respondent to respond in their own
words. They can be useful for gaining insight into the feelings of the respondent, but
can be a challenge when it comes to analysis of data. It is recommended to use open-
ended questions to address the issue of “why.”
• Multiple choice questions: these questions consist of three or more mutually-
exclusive categories and ask for a single answer or several answers. Multiple choice
questions allow for easy analysis of results, but may not give the respondent the
answer they want.

• Rank-order (or ordinal) scale questions: this type of question asks your respondent
to rank items or choose items in a particular order from a set. For example, it might
ask your respondents to order five things from least to most important. These types of
questions forces discrimination among alternatives, but does not address the issue of
why the respondent made these discriminations.

• Rating scale questions: these questions allow the respondent to assess a particular
issue based on a given dimension. You can provide a scale that gives an equal number
of positive and negative choices, for example, ranging from “strongly agree” to
“strongly disagree.” These questions are very flexible, but also do not answer the
question “why.”

3. Develop questions for your questionnaire

The questions that you develop for your questionnaire should be clear, concise, and direct.
This will ensure that you get the best possible answers from your respondents.

• Write questions that are succinct and simple. You should not be writing complex
statements or using technical jargon, as it will only confuse your respondents and lead to
incorrect responses.

• Ask only one question at a time. This will help avoid confusion.

• Beware of asking for private or “sensitive” information. This can be something as simple
as age or weight, or something as complex as personal history.

• Asking questions such as these usually require you to anonymize or encrypt the
demographic data you collect.

• Determine if you will include an answer such as “I don’t know” or “Not applicable to
me.” While these can give your respondents a way of not answering certain questions,
providing these options can also lead to missing data, which can be problematic during
data analysis.

• Put the most important questions at the beginning of your questionnaire. This can help
you gather important data even if you sense that your respondents may be becoming
distracted by the end of the questionnaire.

4. Restrict the length of your questionnaire

• Keep your questionnaire as short as possible. More people will be likely to answer a
shorter questionnaire, so make sure you keep it as concise as possible while still
collecting the necessary information. If you can make a questionnaire that only requires 5
questions, do it.

• Only include questions that are directly useful to your research question. A questionnaire
is not an opportunity to collect all kinds of information about your respondents.

• Avoid asking redundant questions. This will frustrate those who are taking your

5. Identify your target demographic.

Is there a certain group of people who you want to target with your questionnaire? If so, it is
best to determine this before you begin to distribute your questionnaire. Consider if you want
your questionnaire to collect information from both men and women. Some studies will only
survey one sex.

• Determine whether you want your survey to collect information from both children and
adults. Many surveys only target certain age ranges for which the questions are

• Consider including a range of ages in your target demographic. For example, you can
consider young adult to be 18-29 years old, adults to be 30-54 years old, and mature
adults to be 55+. Providing the an age range will help you get more respondents than
limiting yourself to a specific age.

• Consider what else would make a person a target for your questionnaire. Do they need to
drive a car? Do they need to have health insurance? Do they need to have a child under 3?
Make sure you are very clear about this before you distribute your questionnaire.

6. Ensure you can protect privacy

Make your plan to protect respondents’ privacy before you begin writing your survey. This is
a very important part of many research projects.

• Consider an anonymous questionnaire. You may not want to ask for names on your
questionnaire. This is one step you can take to prevent privacy, however it is often
possible to figure out a respondent’s identity using other demographic information (such
as age, physical features, or zip code).

• Consider de-identifying the identity of your respondents. Give each questionnaire (and
thus, each respondent) a unique number or word, and only refer to them using that new
identifier. Shred any personal information that can be used to determine identity.

• Remember that you do not need to collect much demographic information to be able to
identify someone. People may be wary to provide this information, so you may get more
respondents by asking less demographic questions (if it is possible for your
• Make sure you destroy all identifying information after your study is complete.

Writing a Questionnaire

1. Introduce yourself

• Your introduction should explain who you are, and what your credentials are. You should
clarify if you are working alone or as a part of a team. Include the name of the academic
institution or company for whom you are collecting data. Here are some examples : My
name is Jack Smith and I am one of the creators of this questionnaire. I am part of the
Department of Psychology at the University of Michigan, where I am focusing in
developing cognition in infants.

• I’m Kelly Smith, a 3rd year undergraduate student at the University of New Mexico. This
questionnaire is part of my final exam in statistics.

• My name is Steve Johnson, and I’m a marketing analyst for The Best Company. I’ve been
working on questionnaire development to determine attitudes surrounding drug use in
Canada for several years.

2. Explain the purpose of the questionnaire

Many people will not answer a questionnaire without understanding what the goal of the
questionnaire is. No long explanation is needed; instead, a few concise sentences will do
the trick. Here are some examples : I am collecting data regarding the attitudes surrounding
gun control. This information is being collected for my Anthropology 101 class at the
University of Maryland.

• This questionnaire will ask you 15 questions about your eating and exercise habits. We
are attempting to make a correlation between healthy eating, frequency of exercise, and
incidence of cancer in mature adults.

• This questionnaire will ask you about your recent experiences with international air
travel. There will be three sections of questions that will ask you to recount your recent
trips and your feelings surrounding these trips, as well as your travel plans for the future.
We are looking to understand how a person’s feelings surrounding air travel impact their
future plans.

3. Reveal what will happen with the data you collect

Are you collecting these data for a class project, or for a publication? Are these data to be
used for market research? Depending on what you intend to do with the data you collect from
your questionnaire, there may be different requirements that you need to pay attention to
before distributing your survey. Beware that if you are collecting information for a university
or for publication, you may need to check in with your institution’s Institutional Review
Board (IRB) for permission before beginning. Most research universities have a dedicated
IRB staff, and their information can usually be found on the school’s website.

• Remember that transparency is best. It is important to be honest about what will happen
with the data you collect.

• Include an informed consent for if necessary. Note that you cannot guarantee
confidentiality, but you will make all reasonable attempts to ensure that you protect their

4. Estimate how long the questionnaire will take

Before someone sits down to take your questionnaire, it may be helpful for them to know
whether the questionnaire will take them 10 minutes or 2 hours. Providing this information at
the onset of your questionnaire is more likely to get you more complete questionnaires in the
end. Time yourself taking the survey. Then consider that it will take some people longer than
you, and some people less time than you.

• Provide a time range instead of a specific time. For example, it’s better to say that a
survey will take between 15 and 30 minutes than to say it will take 15 minutes and have
some respondents quit halfway through.

• Use this as a reason to keep your survey concise! You will feel much better asking people
to take a 20 minute survey than you will asking them to take a 3 hour one.

5. Describe any incentives that may be involved

An incentive is anything that you can offer as a reward at the end of the questionnaire.
Incentives can be many types of things: they can be monetary, desired prizes, gift certificates,
candy, etc. There are both pros and cons to offering incentives. Incentives can attract the
wrong kind of respondent. You don’t want to incorporate responses from people who rush
through your questionnaire just to get the reward at the end. This is a danger of offering an

• Incentives can encourage people to respond to your survey who might not have responded
without a reward. This is a situation in which incentives can help you reach your target
number of respondents.

• Consider the strategy used by Survey Monkey. Instead of directly paying respondents to
take their surveys, they offer 50 cents to the charity of their choice when a respondent
fills out a survey. They feel that this lessens the chances that a respondent will fill out a
questionnaire out of pure self-interest.

• Consider entering each respondent in to a drawing for a prize if they complete the
questionnaire. You can offer a 25$ gift card to a restaurant, or a new iPod, or a ticket to a
movie. This makes it less tempting just to respond to your questionnaire for the incentive
alone, but still offers the chance of a pleasant reward.

6. Make sure your questionnaire looks professional

Because you want people to have confidence in you as a data collector, your questionnaire
must have a professional look. Always proof read. Check for spelling, grammar, and
punctuation errors.

• Include a title. This is a good way for your respondents to understand the focus of the
survey as quickly as possible.

• Thank your respondents. Thank them for taking the time and effort to complete your

Distributing a Questionnaire

1. Do a pilot study

Ask some people you know to take your questionnaire (they will not be included in any
results stemming from this questionnaire), and be prepared to revise it if necessary. Plan to
include 5-10 people in the pilot testing of your questionnaire. Get their feedback on your
questionnaire by asking the following questions : Was the questionnaire easy to understand?
Were there any questions that confused you?

• Was the questionnaire easy to access? (Especially important if your questionnaire is


• Do you feel the questionnaire was worth your time?

• Were you comfortable answering the questions asked?

• Are there any improvements you would make to the questionnaire?

2. Disseminate your questionnaire

You need to determine what is the best way to disseminate your questionnaire. There are
several common ways to distribute questionnaires : Use an online site, such as
SurveyMonkey.com. This site allows you to write your own questionnaire with their survey
builder, and provides additional options such as the option to buy a target audience and use
their analytics to analyze your data.

• Consider using the mail. If you mail your survey, always make sure you include a self-
addressed stamped envelope so that the respondent can easily mail their responses back.
Make sure that your questionnaire will fit inside a standard business envelope.
• Conduct face-to-face interviews. This can be a good way to ensure that you are reaching
your target demographic and can reduce missing information in your questionnaires, as it
is more difficult for a respondent to avoid answering a question when you ask it directly.

• Try using the telephone. While this can be a more time-effective way to collect your
data, it can be difficult to get people to respond to telephone questionnaires.

3. Include a deadline

Ask your respondents to have the questionnaire completed and returned to you by a certain
date to ensure that you have enough time to analyze the results. Make your deadline
reasonable. Giving respondents up to 2 weeks to answer should be more than sufficient.
Anything longer and you risk your respondents forgetting about your questionnaire.

• Consider providing a reminder. A week before the deadline is a good time to provide a
gentle reminder about returning the questionnaire. Include a replacement of the
questionnaire in case it has been misplaced by your respondent.

Types of Questionnaires
1. Self-administrated questionnaires

• Self-administrated questionnaires have the advantages to be cheap and easy to

administer. They preserve confidentiality and can be completed at the respondent's
convenience without the influence of the interviewer. However, self-administrated
questionnaires can result in low response rates, because people feel less motivated to
respond. Questions can be misunderstood easily without the help of an interviewer. In
addition, there can be a considerable time lag between the first sending of the
questionnaire and the collection of all questionnaires, particularly if questionnaires are
sent out by mail.

2. Interviewer-administrated questionnaires
Interviewer-administrated questionnaires can be used in face to face or telephone
interviews. They can be used easily to interview less literate or illiterate people. Interviewers
can help to clarify ambiguous questions and the answers are available more quickly than in a
mailed questionnaire. The most important disadvantage is the bias which can be introduced
by different interviewers' perceptions and interpretations of the answers (interviewer bias).
Also, in large surveys, more than one interviewer is needed to carry out all interviews, thus
resulting in an increase in needed resources. Questionnaires need to be short (up to a
maximum of 10 min), especially for telephone interviews. Also, telephone interviews are not
the optimal setting to ask about sensitive issues such as sexual behaviour.

Types of questionnaires:

1. Structured questionnaire
a) Have definite and concrete questions.

b) Is prepared well in advance.

c) Initiates a formal inquiry.

d) Supplements and checks the data, previously accumulated.

e) Used in studies of the economics and the social problems, studies of the
administrative policies and changes etc.

2. Unstructured questionnaire

a) Used at the time of the interview.

b) Acts as the guide for the interviewer.

c) Is very flexible in working.

d) Used in studies related to the group of families or those relating to the personal
experiences, beliefs etc.

A questionnaire can also be divided as the follows depending on the nature of the
questions therein:

1. Open ended questionnaire

a) Respondent is free to express his views and the ideas.
b) Used in making intensive studies of the limited number of the cases.
c) Merely an issue is raised by such a questionnaire.
d) Do not provide any structure for the respondent’s reply.
e) The questions and their orders are pre – determined in the nature.

2. Close ended questionnaire

a) Responses are limited to the stated alternatives.
b) One of the alternatives is simply YES or NO.
c) Respondent cannot express his own judgment.

3. Mixed questionnaire
a) Questions are both close and open ended.
b) Used in field of social research.

4. Pictorial questionnaire
a) Used very rarely.
b) Pictures are used to promote the interest in answering the questions.
c) Used in studies related to the social attitudes and the pre – judices in the children.
2. SAMPLE : Introduction

Though sampling is not new but the sampling theory has been developed recently. People
knew or not but they have been using the sampling technique in their day to day life. Ex. A
housewife test a small quality of rice to see whether it has been well cooked and give the
generalized result about the rice .In all these cases by inspecting a few they simply believe
that the sample give a correct idea About the population. Most of our decision are based on
the examination of a few items only i.e that sample studies.

It may be too expensive or too time consuming to attempt either a complete or a nearly
complete coverage in a statistical study.

Further to arrive at valid conclusions it may not be necessary to detail all or nearly all of the
population. We may study a sample drawn from the large population and, if that sample is
adequately representative of the population, we should be able to arrive at valid conclusion.

The sample has many advantages over census.

Merits :

1. It save time

2. It reduces cost

3. More reliable results can be obtained

4. It provides more detailed information

5. Some times only method to depend upon

6. Administrative convenience

Essentials of sampling: in order to reach to a clear conclusion, the sampling Should

possess the following:

1. It must be representative

2. Homogeneity

3. Adequate sample

4. Optimization

Methods of Sampling: The methods of selecting a sample are as follows:

a) Purposive sampling: This is a very simple technique of choosing the samples and is
useful in cases where the whole data is homogeneous and the investigator has full knowledge
of the various aspects of the problem.

 More representation is possible in this method.

 As sample is small in size, the method is less expensive and less time consuming.

 The utility of this method increases when few units of universe have special

When units are less in number, sample is profitable


 Units are selected by researcher at his will. Hence sample is biased.

 The error of the sample can not be detected.

 Researcher is unable to understand the whole group.

 Random Sampling: Off all the methods of selecting sample, random sampling
technique is made maximum use of and it is considered as the best method of sample
selection. Random sampling is made in following ways:

(i) Lottery Method: In this the number of data are written on sheet of paper and they are
thrown into a box.

(ii) By Rotating the Drum: In this method, piece of wood, tin or cardboard of equal length
and breadth, with number 0,1 or 2 printed on them, are used. The pieces are rotated in a drum
and then requisite numbers are drawn by an impartial person.

(iii) Selecting from Sequential List: In this procedure units are broken up in numerical,
alphabetical or geography sequence. Now we may decide to choose 1, 5, 10 and so on , if the
division is alphabetical order we decide to choose every item starting from a, b, c and so on.

(iv) Tippet’s Number: On the basis of population statistics, Tippet has constructed a random
list of four digits each of 10, 400 institutions. These numbers are the result of combining
41,600 population statistics reports.

c) Quota Sampling: This method of study is not much used. In this method entire data is
spilt into as many as there are investigators and each investigator is asked to select certain
items from his block and study.

d) Multi-Stage sampling: This is not a favoured procedure of sampling. In this items are
selected in different stages at random. For example, if we wish to know per acre yield of
various crops in U.P., we shall begin by studying a single crop in one study. Here we shall
begin by making at random selection of 5 districts in the first instance, and then of these 5
districts, 10 villages per districts will be chosen in the same manner. Now in the final stage,
again by random selection 5 fields out of every village. Thus we shall examine per acre yield
in 250 farms all over U.P. this number can increased or decreased depending upon the
opinion of experts.
e) Convenience Sampling: This is method by which a tourist studies generally the country of
his visit. He comes across certain people and things, has transaction with them and then tries
to generalize about the entire populace in his travelogue. This is essentially unscientific
procedure and has no value as a research technique.

Types of Data

There are two different types of data that we use when we are carrying our research projects.
These two different types of data are called Primary and Secondary data collection.

Primary Data

Primary data is data that we collect ourselves during the period of our research e.g.
Questionnaires, Observations, Interviews and so on. We then use the data we have collected
and noted down to begin the next stage of out research which is the theory making and the
understanding of what we are researching.

Primary data is best used for ever evolving research because different factors play roles in
things we research and can lead to varying results depending on the factor and how much of a
role it plays on the research.

Secondary Data

Secondry data is data that has already been collect and we use for reference or to gain
knowledge from other peoples experiences e.g. published books, Government publications,
Journals and the internet. We then use this data to add to the Primary data that we have
collected and use it to combine different people’s opinions and base a theory with evidence to
back this point up.

Secondary data is best used to add other existing evidence and proof to the Primary data that
we have collected, we are better using Secondary data as reference and to gain the knowledge
that we need to begin our own research processes.

The urban design goals and objectives establish a broad framework within for the more
specific guiding principles and the visual design guidelines related to each of the portal areas.
Secondary Source

Internal Secondary External Secondary

Data Data

Books, Periodicals Reports and Computerised

Internal Records and other published publications from commercial and Media Resource
material government sources other data sources

External Secondary data

Books, Periodicals and other published material

Libraries Journals( TATVA)

Reports and publications from government sources

mospi.gov.in censusindia.gov.in dgciskol.nic.in

Computerised commercial and other data sources

Indiastat.com CMIE INDEST

Media Resource

The Hindu Times Network BBC