Swamped with your writing assignments? Take the weight off your shoulder!
Submit your assignment instructions
Now you are ready to begin, perhaps the most exciting part of your research project, the creation of your online survey. You will create your own survey and consent form which you will use to gather data on your research topic. Once I grade and approve your online survey and consent form you may begin gathering data. DO NOT START GATHERING DATA BEFORE I GRADE AND APPROVE YOUR SURVEY. Your survey and consent form will be based on the topic you selected during the Research Topic and 1st Article Summary assignment.
Your survey should explore a particular relationship between two variables. You will create survey items based on the research question you are trying to answer and the specific variables you are trying to measure in your research sample. You will need to create several questions to assess your predictor (often called an independent variable if experimentally manipulated but called a predictor variable when measured in naturally occurring situations when all extraneous variables are not controlled for) and criterion (often called the dependent variable if experimentally measured but named a criterion variable when assessed in correlational studies) variables.
You may wish to consider creating two scales out of your survey questions, one assessing your predictor variable and the other measuring your criterion variable. Researchers often use several questions to assess a single variable. For instance, if you were assessing marital satisfaction, you could use a single question, “on a scale from 1 to 10 how would you rate your marriage,” to assess this concept or put together several related questions (forming a scale) to assess marital satisfaction and the diverse dimensions describing it.
There are many advantages to using scales to access a variable. First, multiple-item scales typically provide a more precise measurement or your variable. Assessing a concept from several different angles may help you pin-point a participant’s true position on it. Second, a multiple-item scale is usually more reliable than a single item assessment. Scales in which several related questions are added to produce a scale score should be more reliable than using a single question to assess the variable. Great care must be taken to choose items which all assess the same variable, but in slightly different ways.
Scale construction can be a very complicated and involved process. There are advanced courses which cover scale construction and all its intricacies. I do not expect you to be a scale expert. You may use scales in your research simply by combining the results of several items from your questionnaire that all relate to a particular concept or variable. Once you collect the data from your questionnaire, on your spreadsheet you would include a column for the scale assessed and in that column, you would place the sum of all the items for that scale. So, if survey questions number 1, 5, and 10, all assessed marital satisfaction in some way, you might have a marital satisfaction scale which would contain the sum of those three items. You may wish to have scales to assess your independent variable and your dependent variable or you might decide to use a single question to assess one of your variables. For instance, if age was one of your variables, a single-item question would be used to assess that. You may also wish to add items which assess participant demographics. Remember however, that participant anonymity must always be assured and no questions may be asked which might identify a specific participant. Also, as stated before, all participants must be at least 18 years of age or older.
You will be using Google forms to create your online survey. Here is a link to a sample Google forms survey.
LinkLinks to an external site.
At the beginning of your survey, you will have a consent form. All participants must agree to the online consent form before completing your research questionnaire. Participants will read the consent form and click on the agree response at the bottom of the first page of your questionnaire. Once they agree to participate in your study, then they will start the section of the Google form containing your questionnaire. If they click on disagree, then they will not receive the questionnaire and will exit the form. Here is a template for your online consent form.
Sample Consent Form for a Web Survey.docxDownload Sample Consent Form for a Web Survey.docx
Everyone must use this consent form template to create their own consent form. You should edit this word document and revise all highlighted parts to include information on your study. Once you have personalized this consent form, it will be copied and pasted into your Google forms survey. Be sure to watch my video where I show you how to construct your Google forms survey and consent form.
Be sure to review module 6 which goes over survey question construction.
Your finished questionnaire should contain a minimum of 8 questions. The number of questions in your survey will vary depending on the variables being assessed. You should refrain from having too many questions which may result in participants not completing your questionnaire or providing inaccurate results.
Once you have completed your assignment submit a link to your google form survey and consent form. I will then grade your assignment and If everything looks fine, approve your survey so that you may start gathering your data.
Module 6.1 Survey Research
Survey research employs questionnaires and interviews to ask people to provide information about themselves—their attitudes and beliefs, demographics (age, gender, income, marital status, and so on) and other facts, and past or future behaviors.
Questionnaires With questionnaires, the questions are presented in written format and the respondents write their answers.
Generally less costly than interviews.
Allow the respondents to be completely anonymous.
Questionnaires require that the respondents be able to read and understand the questions.
An assumption that underlies the use of questionnaires and interviews is that people are willing and able to provide truthful and accurate answers. Participants are not always completely honest, especially when they are asked sensitive or controversial questions. It is impossible to be completely sure of a participants truthfulness. This is one drawback of survey research.
A response set is a tendency to respond to all questions from a particular perspective rather than providing answers that are directly related to the questions. Thus, response sets can affect the usefulness of data obtained from self-reports.
The most common response set is called social desirability, or “faking good.” A social desirability response set might lead a person to under-report undesirable behaviors (e.g., alcohol or drug use, and over-report positive behaviors.
“Yea-saying” and “Nay-saying”
When several questions are asked about a topic, a respondent may employ a response set to agree or disagree with all the questions. Such a tendency is referred to as “yea-saying” or “nay-saying.” The problem here is that the respondent may in fact be expressing true agreement, but alternatively may simply be agreeing with anything that the interviewer says.
Module 6.4 Finalizing the Questionnaire and Administering Surveys
Finalizing the Questionnaire
If you have a particular scale format, such as a 5- point rating scale, use it consistently. Do not change from 5- to 4- to 7- point scales, for example. Consistency in scale use will make statistical analysis much easier.
Refining Questions – Before actually administering the survey, it is a good idea to give the questions to a small group of people (Pilot Study).
Personal Administration to Groups or Individuals – Researchers personally distribute questionnaires to groups or individuals.
Mail Surveys – Surveys can be mailed to individuals at a home or business address. However, the mail format has the drawback of a potentially low response rate.
Online Surveys – It is very easy to design a questionnaire for online administration using one of several online survey software services. Online surveys also tend to have a lower response rate than other strategies.
Interviews – There are several types of possible interviews:
Face-to-Face Interviews – Researchers interview participants in-person.
Telephone Interviews – Researchers interview participants by phone with no face-to-face interaction.
Focus Group Interviews – A focus group is an interview with a group of about 6 to 10 individuals brought together for a period of usually 2–3 hours. Virtually any topic can be explored in a focus group. You have the advantage of group interaction and debate.
Interviews (Pros and Cons)
PROS – Response rates tend to be higher when interviews are used.
People are less likely to leave questions unanswered.
Interviewer can clarify problems of understanding with their respondents.
CONS – Interviewer bias. This term describes all of the biases that can arise from the fact that the interviewer is a unique human being interacting with another human. Interviewer can inadvertently show approval or disapproval for certain answers. Interviewer characteristics such as race, sex, or age can influence responses.
Researchers tend to, “see what they are looking for”.
Please watch part 1 of my 3 part video-lecture entitled, “Surveys and Survey Questions Part 1.”
Next, view the second part of my video-lecture entitled, “Surveys and Survey Questions Part 2.”
Now, view the third part of my video-lecture entitled, “Surveys and Survey Questions Part 3.”
Module 6.5 Possible Survey Research Topic
Take some time to review psychological research currently being conducted online by researchers both domestically and abroad. There are two great websites where researchers post research they are investigating and seek participants for their studies. Go onto the websites Psychological Research on the Net Links to an external site.and Social Psychology NetworkLinks to an external site. Links to an external site.and review the many research topics under investigation.
You are not required to participate in any of these studies but you may elect to take part in one of these investigations. Participating in actual research may provide you with a deeper understanding of the importance of scientific research as well as enhance your knowledge of research designs. You are under no obligation to participate in any of these studies but if you are considering participating in an online study be sure that you carefully read each study’s consent form before deciding whether or not to participate. Notice the wide array of research topics. Hopefully, this will provide you with some inspiration regarding your own survey research project.
Now that we have you thinking about scientific survey research, let’s discuss a possible research topic for your own individual research project. Complete the following discussion:
Discussion About Possible Research Topic and Hypothesis