Social Research Methods: Interviews and Questionnaires

Introduction

Social research has a significant role in the contemporary society as it is used in producing qualitative and quantitative measurements about a social phenomenon such as treatment philosophies (Key 2014). In research where the elements of analysis are human beings, the data collection methods are of survey nature. The elements of analysis are regarded as respondents and the information gathered from them represent the attitudes, opinions and orientation of a larger population about social issues. The two conventional survey methods that are used in social research are questionnaires and interviews where data is collected from answers to the structured and unstructured questions. Social research ordinarily relates to the target respondent’s particular conduct, beliefs, convictions and demographic qualities that are viewed by the researcher as suitable to solve an issue under study.

Questions that are supposed to be answered by a respondent concerning other individuals ought to be maintained at a strategic distance from the targeted individuals. This is because it is often troublesome for respondents to give entirely fair data. Social questions that solicit respondents to evaluate issues from causality or require the respondents to make logical or specialized judgments ought to be additionally avoided and it is done so by choosing social research methods that are centered on respondents’ individual views. Members in a social exploration research possess perspectives and the capacity to react efficiently, thoroughly and deferentially. Such a methodology is not just a civility, but rather will empower productive examinations that can be encouraged by utilization of questionnaires and interviews (FAO 2014). The paper explores the use of conventional survey methods mainly questionnaires and interviews regarding their similarities, differences, advantages and disadvantages of each as a social research methods of data collection.

Questionnaires

According to Bryman (2012),a questionnaire is defined as a piece of material with a series of composed or printed questions that tries to seek the opinions of individuals and is utilized as a collection method for social affair data regarding a social issue. It is a structure with a rundown of inquiries to be answered by more than one individual, and analysis is done before the deduction is done. It is a survey method of collecting data basing on respondents’ beliefs, encounters and emotions about an issue that affects the society. As an instrument for information gathering, it could take an organized or unstructured format just like interviews. In social research and particularly health research, a questionnaire consists of a series of organized set of questions meant to have certain information about an issue under research (Bryman 2012, p. 16). Opinions from different individuals are treated as samples and concern a given issue under study. A portion of the data is regularly obtained through a questionnaire, for example, research about a health issue will entail people’s demographic attributes, opinions, knowledge on health issues or administration, general data on health and general public health (Bowling 2014 p. 169)…..

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