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Key Study Material of Research Aptitude For UGC NET Exam-1

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After reading this blog, you should be able to answer most of the frequently asked Question from Research Methodology Subject area. This is specially collected Key Study Material of Research Aptitude For UGC NET Exam.

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After going through this blog you will learn the key concepts in Research which are important for UGC NET preparation. For sake of simplicity, the content has been divided into 30 Subheadings spread over two parts.


What is research? What are the different types of research?
According to Redman and Mory (1923), research is a “systematized effort to gain new knowledge”. In simple terms research refers to a search for knowledge. It is a scientific and systematic search for information on a particular topic or issue. It is also known as the art of scientific investigation.

There are different types of research. The basic ones are as follows.

Descriptive Versus Analytical
Descriptive research consists of surveys and fact-finding inquiries of different types. The main objective of descriptive research is describing the state of affairs as it prevails at the time of the study.The term ‘ex-post facto research’ is quite often used for descriptive research studies in social sciences and business research. The most distinguishing feature of this method is that the researcher has no control over the variables here. He/she has to only report what is happening or what has happened.

The majority of the ex-post facto research projects are used for descriptive studies in which the researcher attempts to examine phenomena, such as the consumers’ preferences, the frequency of purchases, shopping, etc.

Despite the inability of the researchers to control the variables, ex-post facto studies may also comprise attempts by them to discover the causes of the selected problem. The methods of research adopted in conducting descriptive research are survey methods of all kinds, including correlational and comparative methods. Meanwhile, in the Analytical research, the researcher has to use the already available facts or information and analyze them to make a critical evaluation of the subject.

Applied Versus Fundamental
Research can also be applied or fundamental in nature. An attempt to find a solution to an immediate problem encountered by a firm, an industry, a business organization, or the society is known as applied research. Researchers engaged in such researches aim at drawing certain conclusions confronting a concrete social or business problem.

On the other hand, fundamental research mainly concerns generalizations and formulation of a theory. In other words, “Gathering knowledge for knowledge’s sake is termed ‘pure’ or ‘basic’ research” (Young in Kothari, 1988). Researches relating to pure mathematics or concerning some natural phenomenon are instances of Fundamental Research. Likewise, studies focusing on human behavior also fall under the category of fundamental research.

Thus, while the principal objective of applied research is to find a solution to some pressing the practical problem, the objective of basic research is to find information with a broad base of application and add to the already existing organized body of scientific knowledge.

Quantitative Versus Qualitative
Quantitative research relates to aspects that can be quantified or can be expressed in terms of quantity. It involves the measurement of quantity or amount. Various available statistical and econometric methods are adopted for analysis in such research. Which includes correlation, regressions and time series analysis etc

On the other hand, Qualitative research is concerned with qualitative phenomena, or more specifically, the aspects related to or involving quality or kind. For example, an important type of qualitative research is ‘Motivation Research’, which investigates into the reasons for certain human behavior. The main aim of this type of research is discovering the underlying motives and desires of human beings by using in-depth interviews. The other techniques employed in such research are story completion tests, sentence completion tests, word association tests, and other
similar projective methods.

Qualitative research is particularly significant in the context of behavioral sciences, which aim at discovering the underlying motives of human behavior. Such research helps to analyses the various factors that motivate human beings to behave in a certain manner, besides contributing to an understanding of what makes individuals like or dislike a particular thing. However, it is worth noting that conducting qualitative research in practice is considerably a difficult task. Hence, while undertaking such research, seeking guidance from experienced expert researchers is important.

Conceptual Versus Empirical
The research related to some abstract idea or theory is known as Conceptual Research. Generally, philosophers and thinkers use it for developing new concepts or for reinterpreting the existing ones.

Empirical Research, on the other hand, exclusively relies on the observation or experience with hardly any regard for theory and system. Such research is data based, which often comes up with conclusions that can be verified through experiments or observation. Empirical research is also known as the experimental type of research, in which it is important to first collect the facts and their sources, and actively take steps to stimulate the production of desired information. In this type of research, the researcher first formulates a working hypothesis, and then gathers sufficient facts to prove or disprove the stated hypothesis. He/she formulates the experimental design, which according to him/her would manipulate the variables, so as to obtain the desired information. This type of research is thus characterized by the researcher’s control over the variables under study. In simple term, empirical research is most appropriate when an attempt is made to prove that certain variables influence the other variables in some way. Therefore, the results obtained by using the experimental or empirical studies are considered to be the most powerful evidence for a given hypothesis.

Other Types Of Research
The remaining types of research are variations of one or more of the afore-mentioned type of research.

They vary in terms of the purpose of research, or the time required to complete it, or may be based on some other similar factor. On the basis of time, research may either be in the nature of one-time or longitudinal time series research. While the research is restricted to a single time period in the former case, it is conducted over several time-periods in the latter case.

Depending upon the environment in which the research is to be conducted, it can also be laboratory research
or field-setting research, or simulation research, besides being diagnostic or clinical in nature. Under such research, in-depth approaches or case study method may be employed to analyze the basic causal relations. These studies usually undertake a detailed in-depth analysis of the causes of certain events of interest and use very small samples and sharp data collection methods.

The research may also be explanatory in nature. Formalized research studies consist of substantial structure and specific hypotheses to be verified. As regards to historical research, sources like historical documents, remains, etc. Are utilized to study past events or ideas. It also includes philosophy of persons and groups of the past or any remote point of time.

Discuss various qualities of a researcher

It is important for a researcher to possess certain qualities to conduct research.

  • First of all, the nature of a researcher must be of the temperament that vibrates in unison with the theme which he is searching. Hence, the seeker of knowledge must be truthful with the truthfulness of nature, which is much more important, much more exacting than what is sometimes known as truthfulness. The truthfulness relates to the desire for an accuracy of observation and precision of statement. Ensuring facts is the principle rule of science, which is not an easy matter. The difficulty may arise due to an untrained eye, which fails to see anything beyond what it has the power of seeing and sometimes even less than that. This may also be due to the lack of discipline in the method of science. An unscientific individual often remains satisfied with the expressions like approximately, almost, or nearly, which is never what nature is. A real research cannot see two things which differ, however minutely, as the same.
  • A researcher must possess an alert mind. Nature is constantly changing and revealing itself through various ways. A scientific researcher must be keen and watchful to notice such changes, no matter how small or insignificant they may appear. Such receptivity has to be cultivated slowly and patiently over time by the researcher through practice. An individual who is ignorant or not alert and receptive during his research will not make a good researcher. He will fail as a good researcher if he has no keen eyes or mind to observe the unusual changes in the routine. Research demands a systematic immersion into the subject matter by the researcher grasp even the slightest hint that may culminate into significant research problems. In this context, Cohen and Negal cited by (Selltiz et al, 1965; Wilkinson and Bhandarkar, 1979) state that “the ability to perceive in some brute experience the occasion of a problem is not a common talent among men… it is a mark of scientific genius to be sensitive to difficulties where less gifted people pass by untroubled by doubt”.
  • Scientific inquiry is pre-eminently an intellectual effort. It requires the moral quality of courage, which reflects the courage of a steadfast endurance. The process of conducting research is not an easy task. There are occasions when a research scientist might feel defeated or completely lost. This is the stage when a researcher would need immense courage and the sense of conviction. The researcher must learn the art of enduring intellectual hardships.
  •  A researcher should cultivate the habit of reserving judgment when the required data are insufficient.
Dedication Concentration DeterminationAnalytical mindScientific discipline Global outlookInnovative approachOriginality Intellectual curiosityFreedom from the obsessions of clock and calendarFlexibilityKeen observation Intelligence Passion for knowledgeQuestioning attitude Spirit of enquiry Social skills Social skills Presentation skills
Steps in the research process
  • Formulating the research problem
  • Extensive literature survey
  • Developing hypothesis
  • Preparing the research design
  • Determining sample design
  • Collecting data
  • Execution of the project
  • Analysis of data
  • Hypothesis testing
  • Generalization and interpretation, and
  • Preparation of the report or presentation of the results.
Different types of research design

There are different types of research designs. They may be broadly categorized as:
(1) Exploratory Research Design;
(2) Descriptive and Diagnostic Research Design; and
(3) Hypothesis-Testing Research Design.

  • Exploratory Research Design:The Exploratory Research Design is known as formative research design. The main objective of using such a research design is to formulate a research problem for an in-depth or more precise investigation, or for developing a working hypothesis from an operational aspect. The major
    purpose of such studies is the discovery of ideas and insights. Therefore, such a research design
    suitable for such a study should be flexible enough to provide the opportunity for considering different
    dimensions of the problem under study.The inbuilt flexibility in research design is required as the initial research problem would be transformed into a more precise one in the exploratory study, which in turn may necessitate changes in the research procedure for collecting relevant data.

    • Usually, the following three methods are considered in the context of a research design for such studies.They are
      • a survey of related literature;
      • experience survey; and
      • analysis of ‘insightstimulating’ instances.
  • Descriptive And Diagnostic Research Design: A Descriptive Research Design is concerned with describing the characteristics of a particular individual or a group. Meanwhile, a diagnostic research design determines the frequency with which a variable occurs or its relationship with another variable.
    • In other words, the study analyzing whether a certain variable is associated with another comprises a diagnostic research study. On the other hand, a study that is concerned with specific predictions or with the narration of facts and characteristics related to an individual, group or situation, are instances of descriptive research studies.
  • Hypothesis-Testing Research Design: Hypothesis-Testing Research Designs are those in which the researcher tests the hypothesis of the causal relationship between two or more variables.
    • These studies require procedures that would not only decrease bias and enhance reliability, but also facilitate deriving inferences about the
    • Generally, experiments satisfy such requirements. Hence, when research design is discussed in such studies, it often refers to the design of experiments.
Some of the important concepts relating to Research Design

Research Design helps to decide upon issues like what, when, where, how much, by what means etc. With regard to an enquiry or a research study. A research design is the arrangement of conditions for collection and analysis of data in a manner that aims to combine relevance to the research purpose with economy in procedure.’

In fact, research design is the conceptual structure within which research is conducted; it constitutes the blueprint for the collection, measurement and analysis of data (Selltiz et al, 1962).

  • Dependent And Independent Variables
    • A magnitude that varies is known as a variable. The concept may assume different quantitative values like height, weight, income etc. Qualitative variables are not quantifiable in the strictest sense of the term. However, the qualitative phenomena may also be quantified in terms of the presence or absence of the attribute(s) considered. The phenomena that assume different values quantitatively even in decimal points are known as ‘continuous variables’. But all variables need not be continuous. Values that can be expressed only in integer values are called ‘non-continuous variables’. In statistical terms, they are also known as ‘discrete variables’.
    • For example, age is a continuous variable, whereas the number of children is a non-continuous variable. When changes in one variable depend upon the changes in other variable or variables, it is known as a dependent or endogenous variable, and the variables that cause the changes in the dependent variable are
      known as the independent or explanatory or exogenous variables.
    • For example, if demand depends upon price, then demand is a dependent variable, while price is the independent variable. And, if more variables determine demand, like income and price of the substitute commodity, then demand also depends upon them in addition to the price of original commodity. In other words, demand is a dependent variable which is determined by the independent variables like price of the original commodity, income and price of substitutes.
  • Extraneous Variables:The independent variables which are not directly related to the purpose of the study but affect the dependent variables, are known as extraneous variables. For instance, assume that a researcher wants to test the hypothesis that there is a relationship between children’s school performance and their self-confidence, in which case the latter is an independent variable and the former, a dependent variable. In this context, intelligence may also influence the school performance.
    • However, since it is not directly related to the purpose of the study undertaken by the caused by
      the extraneous variable(s) on the dependent variable is technically called the ‘experimental error’.
    • Therefore, a research study should always be framed in such a manner that the influence of
      extraneous variables on the dependent variable/s is completely controlled, and the influence of
      independent variable/s is clearly evident.
  • Control:One of the most important features of a good research design is to minimize the effect of
    extraneous variable(s). Technically, the term ‘control’ is used when a researcher designs the study
    in such a manner that it minimizes the effects of extraneous variables.

    • The term ‘control’ is used in experimental research to reflect the restraint in experimental conditions.
  • Confounded Relationship:
    • The relationship between the dependent and independent variables is said to be confounded by an
      extraneous variable, when the dependent variable is not free from its effects.
  • Research Hypothesis:When a prediction or a hypothesized relationship is tested by adopting scientific methods, it is known as research hypothesis.
    • The research hypothesis is a predictive statement which relates to a dependent variable and an independent variable. Generally, a research hypothesis must consist of at least one dependent variable and one independent variable. Whereas, the relationships that are assumed but not to be tested are predictive statements that are not to be objectively verified,
      thus are not classified as research hypotheses.
  •  Experimental and Non-experimental Hypothesis Testing Research: When the objective of a research is to test a research hypothesis, it is known as hypothesis-testing research. Such research may be in the nature of experimental design or non-experimental design.
    • The research in which the independent variable is manipulated is known as ‘experimental hypothesis-testing research’, whereas the research in which the independent variable is not manipulated is termed as ‘non-experimental hypothesis-testing research’. For example, assume that a researcher wants to examine whether family income influences the school attendance of a group of students, by calculating the coefficient of correlation between the two variables. Such an example is known as a non-experimental hypothesis-testing research, because the independent variable – family income is not manipulated here.
    • Again assume that the researcher randomly selects 150 students from a group of students who pay
      their school fees regularly and then classifies them into two sub-groups by randomly including 75
      in Group A, whose parents have regular earning, and 75 in Group B, whose parents do not have
      regular earning. Assume that at the end of the study, the researcher conducts a test on each group
      in order to examine the effects of regular earnings of the parents on the school attendance of the
    • Such a study is an example of experimental hypothesis-testing research, because in this
      particular study the independent variable regular earnings of the parents have been manipulated
  • Experimental And Control Groups: When a group is exposed to usual conditions in an experimental hypothesis-testing research, it is known as ‘control group’. On the other hand, when the group is exposed to certain new or special condition, it is known as an ‘experimental group’.
    • In the afore-mentioned example, Group A can be called as control group and Group B as experimental group. If both the groups, A and B are exposed to some special feature, then both the groups may be called as ‘experimental groups’. A research design may include only the experimental group or both the experimental and control groups together.
  • Treatments: Treatments refer to the different conditions to which the experimental and control groups are
    subject to. In the example considered, the two treatments are the parents with regular earnings and
    those with no regular earnings. Likewise, if a research study attempts to examine through an
    experiment the comparative effect of three different types of fertilizers on the yield of rice crop,
    then the three types of fertilizers would be treated as the three treatments.
  •  Experiment: Experiment refers to the process of verifying the truth of a statistical hypothesis relating to a given research problem.
    • For instance, an experiment may be conducted to examine the yield of a certain new variety of rice
      crop developed. Further, Experiments may be categorized into two types, namely, ‘absolute
      experiment’ and ‘comparative experiment’.
    • If a researcher wishes to determine the impact of a chemical fertilizer on the yield of a particular variety of rice crop, then it is known as absolute experiment. Meanwhile, if the researcher wishes to determine the impact of chemical fertilizer as compared to the impact of bio-fertilizer, then the experiment is known as a comparative experiment.
  • Experimental Unit(s):Experimental units refer to the pre-determined plots, characteristics or the blocks, to which different treatments are applied. It is worth mentioning here that such experimental units must be
    selected with great caution.
What is a Hypothesis and discuss the characteristic of a hypothesis?
Hypothesis may be defined as a proposition or a set of propositions set forth as an explanation for the occurrence of some specified group of phenomena either asserted merely as a provisional conjecture to guide some investigation in the light of established facts(Kothari, 1988).

A research hypothesis is quite often a predictive statement, which is capable of being tested using scientific methods that involve an independent and some dependent variables.

The characteristics of a hypothesis are as follow:

  • A hypothesis must be precise and clear. If it is not precise and clear, then the inferences drawn on its basis would not be reliable.
  • A hypothesis must be capable of being put to test. Quite often, the research programmes fail owing to its incapability of being subject to testing for validity. Therefore, some prior study may be conducted by the researcher in order to make a hypothesis testable. A hypothesis “is tested if other deductions can be made from it, which in turn can be confirmed or disproved by observation” (Kothari, 1988).
  • A hypothesis must state relationship between two variables, in the case of relational hypotheses.
  • A hypothesis must be specific and limited in scope. This is because a simpler hypothesis generally would be easier to test for the researcher. And therefore, he/she must formulate such hypotheses.
  • As far as possible, a hypothesis must be stated in the simplest language, so as to make it understood by all concerned. However, it should be noted that simplicity of a hypothesis is not related to its significance.
  • A hypothesis must be consistent and derived from the most known facts. In other words, it should be consistent with a substantial body of established facts. That is, it must be in the form of a statement which is most likely to occur.
  • A hypothesis must be amenable to testing within a stipulated or reasonable period of time. No matter how excellent a hypothesis, a researcher should not use it if it cannot be tested within a given period of time, as no one can afford to spend a life-time on collecting data to test it.
  • A hypothesis should state the facts that give rise to the necessity of looking for an explanation. This is to say that by using the hypothesis, and other known and accepted generalizations, a researcher must be able to derive the original problem condition. Therefore, a hypothesis should explain what it actually wants to explain, and for this it should also have an empirical reference.
What are the different methods of collecting primary and secondary data

Primary data refers to the data collected for the first time, whereas secondary data refers to the data that have already been collected and used earlier by somebody or some agency.

Methods of Collecting Primary Data:

Primary data may be obtained by applying any of the following methods:

Direct Personal Interviews.
A face to face contact is made with the informants (persons from whom the information is to be obtained) under this method of collecting data. The interviewer asks them questions pertaining to the survey and collects the desired information. Thus, if a person wants to collect data about the working conditions of the workers of the Tata Iron and Steel Company, Jamshedpur, he would go to the factory, contact the workers and obtain the desired information. The information collected in this manner is first hand and also original in character.
Indirect Oral Interviews.

Under this method of data collection, the investigator contacts third parties generally called ‘witnesses’ who are capable of supplying necessary information. This method is generally adopted when the information to be obtained is of a complex nature and informants are not inclined to respond if approached directly. For example, when the researcher is trying to obtain data on drug addiction or the habit of taking liquor, there is high probability that the addicted person will not provide the desired data and hence will disturb the whole research process. In this situation taking the help of such persons or agencies or the neighbors who know them well becomes necessary. Since these people know the person well, they can provide the desired data. Enquiry Committees and Commissions appointed by the Government generally adopt this method to get people’s views and all possible details of the facts related to the enquiry.

In this situation taking the help of such persons or agencies or the neighbors who know them well becomes necessary. Since these people know the person well, they can provide the desired data. Enquiry Committees and Commissions appointed by the Government generally adopt this method to get people’s views and all possible details of the facts related to the enquiry.

Direct Personal Interviews.

The investigator appoints local agents or correspondents in different places to collect information under this method. These correspondents collect and transmit the information to the central office where data are processed. This method is generally adopted by newspaper agencies. Correspondents who are posted at different places supply information relating to such events as accidents, riots, strikes, etc., to the head office. The correspondents are generally paid staff or sometimes they may be honorary correspondents also. This method is also adopted generally by the government departments in such cases where regular information is to be collected from a wide area. For example, in the construction of a wholesale price index numbers regular information is obtained from correspondents appointed in different areas.

Information from Correspondents.
The investigator appoints local agents or correspondents in different places to collect information under this method. These correspondents collect and transmit the information to the central office where data are processed. This method is generally adopted by newspaper agencies. Correspondents who are posted at different places supply information relating to such events as
accidents, riots, strikes, etc., to the head office.

The correspondents are generally paid staff or sometimes they may be honorary correspondents also. This method is also adopted generally by the government departments in such cases where regular information is to be collected from a wide area. For example, in the construction of a wholesale price index numbers regular information is obtained from correspondents appointed in different areas.

Mailed Questionnaire Methods.
Under this method, a list of questions pertaining to the survey which is known as ‘Questionnaire’ is prepared and sent to the various informants by post. Sometimes the researcher himself too contacts the respondents and gets the responses related to various questions in the questionnaire. The questionnaire contains questions and provides space for answers. A request is made to the informants through a covering letter to fill up the questionnaire and send it back within a specified

Schedule Sent Through Enumerators.
Another method of data collection is sending schedules through the enumerators or interviewers. The enumerators contact the informants, get replies to the questions contained in a schedule and fill them in their own handwriting in the questionnaire form. There is difference between questionnaire and schedule. Questionnaire refers to a device for securing answers to questions by using a form which the respondent fills in himself, whereas schedule is the name usually applied
to a set of questions which are asked in a face-to-face situation with another person.


As Per Official The various sources of secondary data can be divided into two broad categories: Published sources, Unpublished sources and Published Sources; The governmental, international and local agencies publish statistical data and chief among them are explained below:
  • International Publications:There are some international institutions and bodies like I.M.F, I.B.R.D, I.C.A.F.E and U.N.O who publish regular and occasional reports on economic and statistical matters.
  • Official Publications of Central and State Governments: Several departments of the Central and State Governments regularly publish reports on a number of subjects. They gather additional information. Some of the important publications are: The Reserve Bank of India Bulletin, Census of India, Statistical Abstracts of States, Agricultural Statistics of India, Indian Trade Journal, etc.
  • Semi-Official Publications:Semi-Government institutions like Municipal Corporations, District Boards, Panchayats, etc. Publish reports relating to different matters of public concern.
  • Publications of Research Institutions: Indian Statistical Institute (I.S.I), Indian Council of Agricultural Research (I.C.A.R), Indian Agricultural Statistics Research Institute (I.A.S.R.I), etc. Publish the findings of their research programmes.
  • Publications of various Commercial and Financial Institutions
  • Reports of various Committees and Commissions appointed by the Government as the Raj Committee’s Report onAgricultural Taxation, Wan Choo Committee’s Report on Taxation and Black Money, etc. Are
    also important sources of secondary data
  • Journals and News Papers:Journals and News Papers are very important and powerful source of secondary data. Current and important materials on statistics and socio-economic problems can be obtained from journals and newspapers like Economic Times, Commerce, Capital, Indian Finance, Monthly Statistics of trade etc.

Unpublished data can be obtained from many unpublished sources like records maintained by various government and private offices, the theses of the numerous research scholars in the universities or institutions etc.

Some common errors made in research are
  • Selective observation
  • Inaccurate observation
  • Over-generalization
  • Made-up information
  • Ex post facto hypothesizing
  • Illogical reasoning
  • Ego involvement in understanding
  • Premature closure of inquiry
  • Mystification
What are the things should be kept in mind while drafting a Questionnaire

Questionnaire is widely used for data collection in social research. It is a reasonably fair tool for gathering data from large, diverse, varied and scattered social groups. The questionnaire is the media of communication between the investigator and the respondents. However, in this connection, the following general points may be borne in mind:

  • Size Of The Questionnaire Should Be Small
    A researcher should try his best to keep the number of questions as small as possible, keeping in
    view the nature, objectives and scope of the enquiry. Respondent’s time should not be wasted by
    asking irrelevant and unimportant questions. A large number of questions would involve more
    work for the investigator and thus result in delay on his part in collecting and submitting the
    information. A large number of unnecessary questions may annoy the respondent and he may
    refuse to cooperate. A reasonable questionnaire should contain from 15 to 25 questions at large. If
    a still larger number of questions are a must in any enquiry, then the questionnaire should be
    divided into various sections or parts.
  • The Questions Should Be Clear
    The questions should be easy, brief, unambiguous, non-offending, courteous in tone, corroborative
    in nature and to the point, so that much scope of guessing is left on the part of the respondents.
  • The Questions Should Be Arranged In A Logical Sequence
    Logical arrangement of questions reduces lot of unnecessary work on the part of the researcher
    because it not only facilitates the tabulation work but also does not leave any chance for omissions
    or commissions. For example, to find if a person owns a television, the logical order of questions
    would be: Do you own a television? When did you buy it? What is its make? How much did it cost
    you? Is its performance satisfactory? Have you ever got it serviced?
  • Questions Should Be Simple To Understand
    The vague words like good, bad, efficient, sufficient, prosperity, rarely, frequently, reasonable,
    poor, rich etc., should not be used since these may be interpreted differently by different persons
    and as such might give unreliable and misleading information. Similarly the use of words having
    double meaning like price, assets, capital income etc., should also be avoided.
  • Questions Should Be Comprehensive & Easily Answerable:
    Questions should be designed in such a way that they are readily comprehensible and easy to
    answer for the respondents. They should not be tedious nor should they tax the respondents’
    memory. At the same time questions involving mathematical calculations like percentages, ratios
    etc., should not be asked.
  • Questions Of Personal & Sensitive Nature Should Not Be Asked:
    There are some questions which disturb the respondents and he/she may be shy or irritated by
    hearing such questions. Therefore, every effort should be made to avoid such questions. For
    example, ‘do you cook yourself or your wife cooks?’ ‘Or do you drink?’ Such questions will
    certainly irk the respondents and thus be avoided at any cost. If unavoidable then highest amount
    of politeness should be used.
  • Types Of Questions:
    Under this head, the questions in the questionnaire may be classified as follows:

    • (a) Shut Questions:
      Shut questions are those where possible answers are suggested by the framers of the questionnaire
      and the respondent is required to tick one of them. Shut questions can further be subdivided into
      the following forms:

      • Simple Alternate Questions:
        In this type of questions the respondent has to choose from the two clear cut alternatives like ‘Yes’
        or ‘No’, ‘Right or Wrong’ etc. Such questions are also called as dichotomous questions. This
        technique can be applied with elegance to situations where two clear cut alternatives exist.
      • Multiple Choice Questions:
        Many a times it becomes difficult to define a clear cut alternative and accordingly in such a
        situation additional answers between Yes and No, like Do not know, No opinion, Occasionally,
        Casually, Seldom etc., are added.
  • Leading Questions Should Be Avoided:
    Questions like ‘why do you use a particular type of car, say Maruti car’ should preferably be
    framed into two questions
  • Cross Checks:
    The questionnaire should be so designed as to provide internal checks on the accuracy of the
    information supplied by the respondents by including some connected questions at least with
    respect to matters which are fundamental to the enquiry.

It would be practical in every sense to try out the questionnaire on a small scale before using it for the given enquiry on a large scale. This has been found extremely useful in practice. The given questionnaire can be improved or modified in the light of the drawbacks, shortcomings and problems faced by the investigator in the pretest.


  1. Research methodology in Yenza, http://




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