A questionnaire is a form with questions used to collect data and record views from a large group of individuals.
Questionnaire Sociology Definition

Definition of Questionnaire

A questionnaire is a form with questions used to collect data and record views from a large group of individuals. Social scientists use a question inventory list to examine a population’s essential features, attitudes, and the relationship between variables, and test hypotheses. It is a commonly used method for gathering data that comprises lists of questions in sociology and market research. It is a planned collection of written questions to compile or compare the information collected statistically.

Sociological Explanation

It consists of a series of well-crafted questions that are asked to a group of respondents in precisely the same way to gather information with objectivity on a specific subject that interests the researcher. The phrase is often used to describe formal, standardized questions employed in extensive sociological surveys. To avoid complications, it is essential to write down the questions about the target populations being studied. 

Unstructured and structured questions are the two types of questionnaires. Open-ended or unstructured questions may be preferable when examining a relatively unknown issue since the researcher may be unsure of the array of potential responses. Precoded structured questions are often chosen for postal or mail surveys since they make completion easier.

The nature of this study’s challenges, the difficulty of the inquiries, and the expense are the three primary concerns when deciding how to deliver a questionnaire.

Self-completion, in-person or phone interviews, and other administration methods are available for the questionnaires. Manual administration of such questionnaires is one option, but many survey companies are starting to adopt CAPI, or computer-assisted personal interviewing. Complex computational checks that flag inconsistent or lacking responses may also be included in computer-assisted interviews.

Surveys and censuses often include questions, and both public and commercial entities use the findings of these surveys in their policy research and decision-making. Large-scale quantitative data is collected quite effectively with the use of such question methodology

Since questionnaires may reveal important details about a person’s personality, life experiences, and opinions, they are a crucial methodological approach in the social sciences.

Researchers must work to minimize answer bias or error, which may be brought on by poor questionnaire design, unintended interviewer effects, or participant issues.

Some of the most creative and innovative social science research has been done with the help of questionnaires. This research has been done on a wide range of topics, such as social class and social mobility, migration, poverty, family change, and social and cultural issues of races. 

Additionally, it must be designed to filter respondents into or out of certain areas accurately.

Designing a questionnaire requires expertise since it requires researchers to understand how information is measured and how to reduce complicated problems down into a series of questions.

The development of surveys and data gathering are both impacted by several problems. A questionnaire that is too long will result in hurried responses from respondents, which will lower the response rate. Research expenditures increases as sample size and geographic scope expand.


Decennial Census of Population and Housing Questionnaire created by the US Census Bureau.

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