The Pros and Cons of Open Ended Questions

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In looking at this attached survey on bottled water I immediately noticed how the person conducting the survey did a good job avoiding leading questions by making them all open-ended. However, while open-ended questions have their advantages: respondents feeling that they have more control, gaining new information and insights, and learning the nuances of the responses. However, a major disadvantage is that the answers must then be coded, requiring additional manpower, money and time.

An additional worry that I have for this survey is the sheer quantity of open-ended questions. As I took this survey I was overwhelmed by the amount of time and energy it was taking for me to complete the survey. Several times I was tempted to quit and move on to other projects, leading to the potential for a high nonresponse rate.

Finally, any results gathered from the survey has the potential to be non generalizable depending on the variety of the responses provided. This sort of qualitative research limits the extent to which one is able to understand the extent of the phenomena. Any analysis of the data would be an interpretation of the responses and subjective to one's point of view.

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This page contains a single entry by stei0683 published on December 4, 2012 1:02 AM.

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