Research Methods for Information Research
2. Asking questions (and getting research answers)
2.4 Research interviews: testing the interview schedule
Test out the schedule in pilot interviews to screen out:
- Questions that are difficult to ask (too many questions in one; sentences that are too long; tongue-twisters).
- Questions that are difficult to answer (e.g. containing unfamiliar words or phrases; asking for generalisations or abstractions; hypothetical questions; asking busy operation staff about the allocation of their time).
- Questions that invite distortion (leading questions carrying assumptions that the people interviewed may not share; asking respondents about the opinions or behaviour of other people).
- Most of the principles outlined here also apply to questionnaire design.
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