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Scanning Questionnaires

Scanning questionnaires is a method of data collection that can be

used with paper questionnaires that have been administered in face-
to-face interviews; mail surveys or surveys completed by an
Interviewer over the telephone.


• Scanning can be the fastest method of data entry for paper

• Scanning is more accurate than a person in reading a properly
completed questionnaire.
• Scanning is best-suited to "check the box" type surveys and bar
codes. Scanning programs have various methods to deal with
text responses, but all require additional data entry time.
• Scanning is less forgiving (accurate) than a person in reading a
poorly marked questionnaire. Requires investment in additional
hardware to do the actual scanning.

Personal Interviews

An interview is called personal when the Interviewer asks the questions

face-to-face with the Interviewee. Personal interviews can take place in
the home, at a shopping mall, on the street, outside a movie theater or
polling place, and so on.


• The ability to let the Interviewee see, feel and/or taste a product.
• The ability to find the target population. For example, you can
find people who have seen a film much more easily outside a
theater in which it is playing than by calling phone numbers at
• Longer interviews are sometimes tolerated. Particularly with in-
home interviews that have been arranged in advance. People
may be willing to talk longer face-to-face than to someone on the


• Personal interviews usually cost more per interview than other

methods. This is particularly true of in-home interviews, where
travel time is a major factor.
• Each mall has its own characteristics. It draws its clientele from a
specific geographic area surrounding it, and its shop profile also
influences the type of client. These characteristics may differ
from the target population and create a non-representative
Comparison (see our Research Methods: Comparison module): Comparison
is used to determine and quantify relationships between two or more
variables by observing different groups that either by choice or circumstance
are exposed to different treatments. Examples of comparative research are
the studies that were initiated in the 1950s to investigate the relationship
between cigarette smoking and lung cancer in which scientists compared
individuals who had chosen to smoke of their own accord with non-smokers
and correlated the decision to smoke (the treatment) with various health
problems including lung cancer.
Pre-empirical Done before making observations,
Research including clarifying the meaning of
the concepts used in the research,
the operational definitions of the
variables, and methodological
issues, such as identifying the
research participant pool and ethics
of the procedures.

Descriptive Research using quantitative methods

Methods to describe phenomena as they
exist. Aim is to not manipulate or
control. Main examples are:

• Naturalistic observation
• Survey research

• Correlational research
Experimental These are quantitative methods
Methods which aim to manipulate and control
variables in order to establish cause-
and-effect relationships. Main
categories of experimental methods

• Quasi-experimental designs
• True experimental designs
• Meta-analysis
• Single-subject designs

Qualitative Using primarily data from in-depth
Methods interviews and other qualitative data
to identify and describe the
underlying themes of the experience
of a phenomenon. Among the many
qualitative methods are:

• Naturalistic Inquiry
• Hermeneutic Analysis
• Participant observation
• Ethnography

(Note: the last two methods may

also use some quantitative data, but
are primarily qualitative.)

What are the Data Analysis Methods?

The term 'data analysis methods' commonly refers to qualitative data analysis methods.
Qualitative research analysts define 15 types of data analysis methods. Let's go through each of

1. Typology: It's basically a classification system or methodology, taken from patterns, themes or
other kinds of groups of data. This type of method implements the thought that, ideally, categories
should be mutually exclusive and exhaustive, if possible. Here's a list of categories as example:
acts, activities, meanings, participation, relationships, settings, etc.

2. Taxonomy: This method is complex classification containing multiple levels of conceptions or

abstractions. Higher levels include lower levels forming superordinate and subordinate

3. Constant Comparison/Grounded Theory: This method was developed in the 60s and has
the following steps:

• Look at the document to be analyzed, such as a field note.

• Identify parameters to categorize events and behavior, which will be named and coded
on document.
• Code comparison will help find consistencies and deviations.This is done till categories
saturate and no new codes related to it are formed.
• Finally, certain categories become centrally focused categories more commonly known
as core categories. These core categories are made subjects of case study.

4. Analytic Induction: This is one of oldest and the most appreciated method. Here, an event is
studied and a hypothetical statement is developed of whatever happened. Now other similar
events are studied and check if they fit the hypothesis. If they don't, there's a need to revise the
hypothesis. Start by looking for exceptions in the derived hypothesis and revise each of them to
suit all examples encountered. Eventually hypotheses is developed that supports all the observed

5. Logical Analysis/Matrix Analysis: It is basically an outline of generalized causation, logical

reasoning process, etc. It mostly includes use of flow charts, diagrams, etc. to graphically
represent these, as well as written descriptions.

6. Quasi-statistics: More often than not, enumeration is used in this method to provide manifest
for categories formed or to determine if observations are untrue.

7. Event Analysis/Microanalysis: In this method, importance is on finding a accurate beginnings

and endings of events by determining specific boundaries or points that mark boundaries or
events. This is the method that is specifically oriented towards film and video making. After end
points are determined, repeated viewing can help us find phases in the event.

8. Metaphorical Analysis: Here, it's required to go on with various metaphors while checking
how well they correspond with what is being observed. Participant may be asked for metaphors
which they should interpret. For example: "Hallway as a highway." Many participants will take
highway and its components in different ways like, students as traffic and teachers as police, etc.

9. Domain Analysis: This type of analysis is mostly used to describe social and cultural
situations, and patterns within it. Start by emphasizing what is social situation to participants while
they can interrelate it with cultural meanings.

10. Hermeneutical Analysis: The word 'hermeneutical' literally means not going for objective
meaning of text, but interpreting the text for the people involved in the situation. This is done by
never overemphasizing self in an analysis, instead reiterating the people's story. Meaning of any
content resides in author intent, context, and the reader - finding themes and relating these three
is involved in this method.

11. Discourse analysis: This method usually involves video taping of events so that they can be
played over and over again for deeper analysis.

12. Semiotics: Here, we determine how signs and symbols are related to their meanings while
they are being constructed. The analysis needs to assume that the meaning is not inherent and it
comes from other things related to the symbol.

13. Content Analysis: This method is never used with video and it is only qualitative in
development of categories. Standard rules of categorization in content analysis include:

• Identifying a chunk of data to be analyzed at a time (whether it is a line, a sentence, a

phrase, a paragraph?).
• Categories must be inclusive and mutually exclusive.
• Should have precisely defined properties.
• All data fits some category i.e. exhaustive categorization.

14. Phenomenology/Heuristic Analysis: There is emphasis on individual explanation to people.

This method emphasizes the effects of research and the researcher's personal experience. The
term "phenomenology" is used to describe a researcher's experience.

15. Narrative Analysis: Also known as 'Discourse analysis', this method gives more importance
to interaction. How the narrator chooses to tell frame wise, that is how he/she will be perceived.
Always compare ideas while avoiding revealing negatives about self. This analysis can involve
study of literature or journals or folklore.