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Examine some of the problems that sociologists may encounter when using questionnaires in their research

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Introduction

Examine some of the problems that sociologists may encounter when using questionnaires in their research Research is important for sociologists if they desire to prove a theory or to fund their own theories and opinions on. One method of doing this is by using questionnaires in which tend to be generally structured. If these questions are "open questions" then they allow the interviewee more flexibility in their answers and can give a more personal feel to the research as the interviewee is adding their own incite into the topic. However with structured questionnaires there is always a problem in that the interviewee may feel pressured into trying to give the correct answer so the data may not be valid. ...read more.

Middle

Another problem sociologists may encounter when using questionnaires in their research are the ethical factors. These are very important in any considerations for research methods as without ethical issues, research could be considered unethical and may not be taken seriously. By using questionnaires the interviewee would have to know what the questionnaire is about and what its purpose is, this could jeapordise the whole research as the interviewee would then have some idea of the research, and therefore could change their answers in order to suit the requirements. Like I mentioned before if the interviewer got involved personally, they might find their research has become ethically unbalanced or too opinionated. ...read more.

Conclusion

Depending on what viewpoint the sociologist is on will result in whether they encounter a great deal of problems using a questionnaire in their research. Of course there are problems with using a questionnaire such as the validity and reliablity of it but if a positivist is more about creating formulas then they would use the formula to create statistical facts. By viewing the questionnaire from a certain perspective it may affect their approach to the questionnaire. Furthermore I feel that the main problems sociologists encounter when using questionnaires in their research are the ethical and practical issues. With ethical issues they need to explain what they are doing to the interviewee without influencing their opinion on the subject. Practical issues such as time, cost and the reliability and validity of the data needs to be taken into account before producing a questionnaire. ...read more.

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