Examine the Reasons Why Some Sociologists Choose to Use Questionnaires When Conducting Research (20 Marks)

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Examine the reasons why some sociologists choose to use questionnaires when conducting research (20 marks) Questionnaires are surveys which are sent out to the public with pre-set questions which are usually closed-ended, and they are defended by positivist’s sociologists who favour using them over qualitative methods as questionnaires meet the main positivistic goal of reliability. Questionnaires are reliable because every questionnaire within a pack will be identical. So then this should generate similar answers. It also shows that if there is large differences it shows that it is because that is what the public think, not because the questions are worded differently for different people. Also this can rule out fluke answers which can be ignored. This is then why sociologists like to use questionnaires when conducting research. Questionnaires pose fewer ethical issues than other research methods. With questionnaires some intrusive questions may be asked but it is under the respondent’s choice whether they want to answer that specific question or not. There should be guaranteed anomity so they know that anything that is answered will not be brought back to them as the questionnaire is anonymous. Positivists like to use cheap and easy methods. A questionnaire is one of those methods. Because it goes out to a large number of people through the postal service, the only cost is paper, ink and a stamp. It’s also quick because all positivists have to do is place it in the post box and wait for the postman to deliver it to somebody. Also as people don’t need to be recruited and trained to collect the data. Questionnaires are good at testing hypothesises about cause and effect relationships between two variables. Questionnaires enable us to identify the possible causes; this is attractive to positivist sociologists as they take a scientific approach and seek to
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