SURVEY RESEARCH 2006 William Holmes WHAT IS SURVEY RESEARCH? Systematic data collection Using standardized instruments And uniform administration STANDARDIZED DATA COLLECTION MEANS: Everyone receives the same questions, in the same way, and have the responses recorded by the same procedures.

SURVEYS USE QUESTIONNAIRES OR INTERVIEWS Questionnaires are mostly fixed choice responses, have few prompts, are fairly confidential, and little social interaction. Interviews have more open-ended questions, use more prompts, have less privacy, and allow more social interaction. TYPES OF SURVEYS: QUESTIONNAIRES

Face to face questionnaires Drop-off questionnaires Internet questionnaires Mailed questionnaires Group questionnaires Case record coding forms TYPES OF SURVEYS: INTERVIEWS

Face to face interviews Group interviews, focus groups Internet interviews Phone interviews DIFFERENCES BETWEEN: QUESTIONNAIRES AND INTERVIEWS QUESTIONNAIRES INTERVIEWS Large samples

Small samples Highly structured Loosely structured Highly confidential Less confidential Low interaction High interaction

Low cost High cost PRINCIPLES FOR GOOD QUESTIONS Ask about one thing at a time Use language appropriate for population Give clear choices for structured responses Think about branching questions for

subgroups Dont ask evaluative questions Have some easy questions first GAINING COOPERATION Appeal to authority Appeal to altruism Offer benefits

Use bandwagon effect Make it interesting Make it personal TRAINING STAFF Look for good communication skills Rehearse giving questionnaires and interviews Role-play questionnaires and interviews Practice dealing with difficulties Give staff options Protect staff safety RULES FOR GOOD INTERVIEWS

Motivate the person being interviewed. Rehearse and train your interviewers. Respect your interviewee. Minimize distractions. Record notes immediately after the interview. MOTIVATING SURVEY RESPONDENTS

Have prior contact if possible. Provide evidence of legitimacy. Provide evidence of professionalism. Assure confidentiality. Offer appropriate rewards. Use interpersonal contacts. Use public announcements.

Make process interesting. ORGANIZING SURVEY DATA Develop codebook for data. Track data from collection into computer. Have anonymous respondent IDs. Monitor survey process.

Use follow-ups to increase sample size. Use follow-ups to verify survey data. Protect confidentiality of data. WHAT IS A CODEBOOK? A dictionary giving a specific code for each value or category of a variable. Codes may be alphabetic or numeric. Codes must be exhaustive, exclusive, and clear. Every item in a questionnaire or interview must be treated as a separate variable in the codebook. EXAMPLE OF A CODEBOOK

ITEM VARIABLE DESCRIPTION CODES 1 Date1 Date filled out date format 2 Gender

Sex of respondent 1 Male 2 Female 9 Missing

3 Age Age in years . Integer format . MONITORING SURVEY: MECHANICS

Number respondents Number forms Assign specific responsibility for tasks Have confidentiality procedures in place Have backup procedures in place MONITORING SURVEY: PROCESS

Track sample coverage Track data forms Follow-up non-response Follow-up missing data Track data entry TIPS FOR TRACKING DATA Have anonymous IDs on all forms. Specify whos responsible for each step from interview to data entry. Match master list of respondents with list of individuals for whom a form is available. Give list of missing forms to those

responsible for them to track down.

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