Engaging and informative, this book provides students and researchers with a pragmatic, new perspective on the process of collecting survey data. By proposing a post-positivist, interviewee-centred approach, it improves the quality and impact of survey data by emphasising the interaction between interviewer and interviewee. Extending the conventional methodology with contributions from linguistics, anthropology, cognitive studies and ethnomethodology, Gobo and Mauceri analyse the answering process in structured interviews built around questionnaires.
The following key areas are explored in detail: An historical overview of survey research; The process of preparing the survey and designing data collection; The methods of detecting bias and improving data quality; The strategies for combining quantitative and qualitative approaches; The survey within global and local contexts
Incorporating the work of experts in interpersonal and intercultural relations, this book offers readers an intriguing critical perspective on survey research.
Giampietro Gobo, Ph.D., is Professor of Methodology of Social Research and Evaluation Methods at the Department of Social and Political Studies - University of Milan. He has published over fifty articles in the areas of qualitative and quantitative methods. His books include Doing Ethnography (Sage 2008) and Qualitative Research Practice (Sage 2004, co-edited with C. Seale, J.F. Gubrium and D. Silverman). He is currently engaged in projects in the area of workplace studies.
Sergio Mauceri, Ph.D., is Lecturer in Methodology of Social Sciences and teaches Quantitative and Qualitative Strategies of Social Research at the Department of Communication and Social Research - University of Rome ‘La Sapienza’. He has published several books and articles on data quality in survey research, mixed strategies, ethnic prejudice, multicultural cohabitation, delay in the transition to adulthood, worker well-being in call centres and homophobia.
Answers: Cognitive Processes
Answers: Cognitive Processes
In this chapter we look mainly at cognitive processes concerning the constraints imposed by response alternatives. These pose a high risk of bias; as high, in fact, as that posed by questions. The problems are:
- syntactic (due to the interaction between question text and answer classification),
- semantic (concerning the meaning of the answer categories) and
- pragmatic (concerning how response alternatives are used for social and communicative purposes).
5.1 • Open-Ended or Closed-Ended? Facing the Dilemma
For decades, one of the central issues in methodological debate was the question of open-ended versus closed-ended response alternatives. The origins of the debate date back to before the Second World War, and the conflict between Likert and Wilson was described in Section 1.6.
Advantages and Disadvantages
In the decades that followed, the debate ...