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Question Set Analysis

1. Identify the problem with the following questionnaire items:
a. Which is the most serious social problem in the U.S. today, anomie or oversocialization?

b. Do you think there is a good market for the product and that it will sell well?

Answer: This is a double barreled question and such questions should be avoided. This question above has two possible answers. It would be better to ask two separate questions: (1) "Do you think there is a good market for the product?" and (2) "Do you think the product will sell well?" These questions will have separate "Yes" or "No" responses.

c. Don't you think that in these days of escalating costs of living, employees should be given good pay raises?

Answer: This is a leading question, it is leading the respondent to give an answer that is desired by the researcher. This is pressuring the respondent to say "yes". Another way to ask the same question is as follows: "To what extent do you agree that respondents should definitely be given a high pay rise". The scale will be from "Strongly Agree" to "Strongly Disagree".

d. A set of response categories to the question "What is your current age?" is:
i. 1-5
ii. 5-10
iii. 10-20
iv. 20-30
v. 30-40

Guidelines I was given.
Principles of wording in questionnaire design:
- The wording of the question and the level of sophistication of the language used are important
- Both positively and negatively worded questions need to be asked in the questionnaire so that the respondent does not mechanically answer the items without much mental engagement.
- Double-barreled questions should be avoided.
- Ambiguous questions should also be avoided.
- Recall dependent questions will also introduce biases.
- Leading questions also result in biased responses because the interviewee/respondents might be led to believe that a particular type of answer is sought and might try to oblige the interviewer/questionnaire solicitor, even if the response is not what the individual believes to be true.
- Loaded questions should also be avoided because of the emotionality it invokes, thus eliciting biased responses.
- Questions invoking social desirability will also produce biased responses.
- It is also important to avoid lengthy questions which might confuse the respondent and introduce several types of biases.

Solution Preview

a. This is a leading question. It suggests that both anomie and oversocialization are serious problems in the US. The responder may not necessarily agree with that but feel pressured to go along with it. Moreover, the use of the words "most serious" is a red flag. Also, the question uses sophisticated ...

Solution Summary

This solution provides short and direct feedback to explore problems that are part of question sets (such as bias, and leading).