Self-completion questionnaires (Part II)

Date of publication: June 15, 1971

Author: John Nolan

Abstract:

Our own experiment found no greater tendency for self-completion to yield critical answers: in this respect the two methods of data collection produced results which were very similar indeed. A likely explanation by which this finding can be reconciled with Scott's is the fact that our use of interviewers to recruit informants had the same inhibiting effects as using them to conduct an interview. Informants filling the questionnaire consciously or unconsciously envisaged their replies being read by the interviewer who had given them the questionnaire. Indeed, the similarity between the responses to the two methods of questioning was more remarkable than any differences, and likely to be of more practical significance. The rest of this section goes on to explore the meaning and implications of these divergencies, and to suggest ways of narrowing or widening the gap as appropriate.

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