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Meaning and Definition of Questionnaire | Characteristics of Questionnaire


What is Questionnaire? 


Questionnaire is a simple, cheap and good method of data collection in social research. This system is used in a wide and far-flung area. This system is becoming quite popular in less developed countries. Information is mailed to the donors with Krishna and they are requested to fill out the questionnaires themselves and mail them back to the researchers. Before describing anything else about the questionnaire, it is very important to think carefully about the definition and meaning of the questionnaire.


Meaning of Questionnaire 


There is a list of questions related to any study subject, which is sent to the informants by post, which the informant fills himself and returns.

Questionnaire is that form or list of questions about the concerned problem, which is widely used to collect information in the shortest possible time without the help of the researcher in the field of sales. Generally this method is adopted to collect information from different persons.


Definition of Questionnaire 


1. According to Lundberg- "Basically questionnaire is a set of motivations, under which educated people present to reveal the observation of their verbal behavior under these motivations."

2. In the words of Dr. P.V. Young - "Social scientists use questionnaires as an auxiliary tool in the study of major amenable social phenomena."


3. According to Bogards- "A questionnaire is a table of questions to be answered by a group of persons."

4. According to Pope- "Questionnaire can be defined as a set of questions, which have to be answered by the informant without any investigator or personal help."


Objectives of Questionnaire 


1. The first objective of questionnaire is to 'save time and money in material collection'. Questionnaires can be sent to the informants by post on the same day in all areas and the informants can also return them promptly. In these only money has to be spent on printing and sending the questionnaires by post.

2. To collect subjective, quantitative and qualitative facts from the members living in the wide and scattered research area. The informants can give the required information in minimum time without any effect, if due care is taken in the preparation of the questionnaire.


Types of Questionnaire | How many types of questionnaire are there?


1. Closed and Restricted Questionnaire :  In this type of questionnaire, the answers of the informant are tied within certain limits by the questions. Being more simple and convenient, informers can fill them and return them quickly, examples are as follows-

  • how is your family? - Joint / Single
  • What kind of weddings do you do here? - ethnic/interracial 


2. Open and Unrestricted Questionnaire : In such a questionnaire, the informant has the freedom to express his views freely and thus descriptive or qualitative information is obtained. Appropriate space is left in the questionnaire for each question, examples of which are as follows- 

  • What are your thoughts on co-education?
  • What can you say about prohibition in India?

In this type of questions, the informant has to answer in detail.


3. Questionnaires with pictures : In the modern era man does not have enough time to answer long questions. That's why the questionnaire is made more and more attractive and simple by pictures. Busy people also get attracted to such questionnaires and can go through the questions conveniently. This questionnaire requires less time to fill and the answers can also be checked easily.


4. Mixed Questionnaire : This questionnaire is neither purely restricted nor restricted. Both types of questions are included in this questionnaire. Most of the questionnaires are of this type.


Merits and Demerits of Questionnaire

Merits of Questionnaire | Explain the merits of questionnaire 


1. Study of large population- Through this questionnaire method, the study of small to large population spread over a large area can be done successfully. Questionnaires provide the quickest and easiest method of collecting information from a group of persons scattered over a large and wide area.

2. Short time- In this method questionnaires are sent by post to a wide area simultaneously and information is obtained from them in a very short time. In this method information can be collected in minimum time, other methods take more time.


3. Less Expensive- It costs less. There is no additional cost other than postage and follow-up letter. Comparatively, it can be said that the training of the workers of schedule method, the need and problems of their salary, allowance etc. do not have to be faced in this method.

4. Minimum hard work - There is no need to do much hard work in this. After sending by post, one has to wait for a few days for the return. This includes the need to send them follow-up letters and to do the mere labor of sending questionnaires to others if sufficient information is not collected.


5. Convenient- This method is considered more convenient for the respondent, because the respondent answers the questions of the questionnaire at his own convenience without any fear or hesitation. He gets off when he is in front of the questioner, he may hesitate.

6. Unbiased information- By being present in front of the respondent asking questions, the information can become biased, because asking questions can influence the answerer. Whereas in questionnaire method such possibility is not there and unbiased information can be collected.


7. Self-administered- Because the questionnaire is sent by post to the other person, therefore the researcher does not have to get entangled with the problem of organization or arrangement. Workers do not face any problem related to training, their labor organization or administration, hence this method is called self-administered.

8. Statistical use - Statistical use, classification, tabulation and categorization of the information obtained from the questionnaire method is easy because the questions that can be used for statistical use are determined.


What are the disadvantages of questionnaire

1. Lack of Universality- This method cannot be applied to all the individuals of the society. Its scope is limited to the educated class only. Less educated persons whose number is more in India and who do not understand various social political problems but this method is not possible to be adopted.

2. Half Incomplete Information- Many times the respondents do not answer the main questions. It is possible that he does not understand the question subject or does not want to give secret information, in such case he answers only those questions as much as he wants. Rakhi It is not possible to reach the right conclusion through half incomplete information.


3. Return problem- After sending the questionnaire, the researcher has no means of motivating the respondent to respond, he can only send a follow-up letter requesting them to respond. Many times it happens that the respondents do not return the questionnaire due to their carelessness or lack of time and then the main purpose of this method is lost.

4. Lack of motivation- Due to lack of direct contact with the respondent, the researcher cannot emotionally motivate the respondent to give information.


5. Lack of help- Many times the informant does not understand the questions and it is not possible to help him. In such a situation, the information obtained is not suitable from the point of view of research.


Features / Characteristics of Questionnaire

Based on the characteristics of the questionnaire, it can be understood more clearly. Its characteristics are as follows.


1. Questionnaire is a list of questions related to the subject to be studied.

2. The questionnaire is sent by post to the informants. Sometimes it is also elaborated at the local level.

3. The questionnaire is to be filled by the informant himself. He doesn't take anyone's help for this.

4. Questionnaire is used only for educated informants because the study is not in front of him. That's why the informants have to fill their answers after reading the questions.


5. Questionnaire is an indirect method of collecting primary information.

6. Questionnaires are used for informants spread over a large and wide area. Simple and clear language is used in the questionnaire and there are inspirational questions in the effort.

7. After filling the questionnaire, the informant usually returns it by post but sometimes it can be collected personally from the local people.


8. The questionnaire is sent by post to a number of informants at once. That's why information is quickly collected through questionnaire.

9. Since the researcher is not in front of the informant in the questionnaire, he without hesitation gives many secret and internal information.