Examine the Reasons Why Some Sociologists Choose Not to Use Questionnaires When Conducting Research Essay

460 Words2 Pages
Questionnaires are most commonly used as a form of social surveys. They can be distributed to people at home or returned by post or in person, e-mailed or completed and collected on spot. Questionnaires most commonly ask respondents to provide answers to pre-set questions, these tend to be close-end questions. Positivists favour questionnaires as they achieve reliability and representativeness. However, they are opposed by Interpretivists who say they impose the researcher’s framework of ideas on the respondents and they claim this may influence the respondents’ view on the question being asked. A reason as to why some sociologists choose not to use questionnaires when conducting research is because of a chance of a low response rate. This may be a result of people who receive questionnaires being not bothered to complete and return it. This can be a problem as the people who do not respond having a different opinion to those who do respond, this does not provide accurate representativeness. A higher response rate can be obtained if follow-up questionnaires are sent, but this can add to the cost and time. However, some sociologists may choose to use questionnaires as there is no need to recruit and train interviewees thus saving costs. Another reason as to why some sociologists choose not to use questionnaires when conducting research is because of the fact that questionnaires are snapshots of social reality of the time when the respondents answer the questionnaires. This means that they fail to produce valid pictures as they do not capture how people’s attitudes can change over time. On the other hand, questionnaires tend to be used by sociologists as they provide less ethical issues than other research methods. Interpretivists say that questionnaires are more likely to impose the researcher’s own meanings rather than revealing what the respondents’ actual
Open Document