Q:

What are advantages and disadvantages of interview questionnaires?

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Quick Answer

Advantages of interview questionnaires include the fact that information is gathered in a standardized way. Questionnaires allow users to collect information quickly from a large group of people. Disadvantages of questionnaires include an inability for those responding to explain or elaborate upon their answers. In addition, some respondents may also answer questions superficially.

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Full Answer

Interview questionnaires are essentially paper-and-pencil instruments that respondents complete. The interviewer may also complete the questionnaires by taking down the responses from the interviewee. Interview questionnaires help in collecting large amounts of information and can be transferred by the researcher or research assistant without affecting the information's validity and reliability. Researchers may quantify the collected data and use it to compare and contrast with previous research to measure change or generate new theories. Data collected by questionnaires is easier to analyze scientifically and objectively than other types of research.

Interview questionnaires have a number of shortcomings, including the difficulty in establishing the truthfulness of the respondent. Collected data may lack validity. Similarly, it is not possible to tell the seriousness of the respondent in answering the questions. Quantifying the information allows the researcher to collect just a limited amount of information that lacks explanation. In addition, respondents may misunderstand the questions, and therefore, the reply may be based on their own interpretations. Questions included in the questionnaire are based on what the researcher deems important, which can amount to researcher imposition, and the researcher may miss out on useful information.

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