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Applied questionnaire methods

In psychology, theories and hypotheses often refer to latent and manifest concepts or constructs. Empirically, these constructs are often studied with questionnaires. Consequently, a good questionnaire design is vital for the reliability and validity and the overall quality of research studies for which questionnaires are used.

This course teaches basics of measurement theory and questionnaire development in order to provide course students with essential skills to be able to develop, use, and evaluate questionnaire studies.

Questionnaire studies are embedded in their research design tailored to answer a research question. The course therefore also includes lectures and exercises about research design and evaluation, as well as ethical considerations.

  • Course structure

    As a registered student on this course you will find detailed course information and communication in the learning platform Athena. Login with your university account.

    This course will be given in the first half of the semester, half-time studies.

    Course syllabus: Questionnaire methods in practice, 7,5 credits. Autumn 2020.

    Teaching format

    The course contains both classroom lectures and practical exercises.

    Classroom lectures contain presentation and discussion of important concepts and methods for survey construction and evaluation.

    In the practical exercise, each student formulates an own research question to be studied with a self-developed questionnaire for which data is being collected online. Following that, each student evaluates their own questionnaire in terms of evidence for reliability and validity.

    Finally, data collected with the questionnaire is used for further data analysis to answer the initially formulated research question. Each student presents the process of questionnaire construction and evaluation, as well as the analysis and interpretation of the findings concerning the overall research question in an oral presentation and in a written report.

    The written report is evaluated and graded as part of the examination.

    In order to provide students with the necessary skills to set up their questionnaire online, and do the appropriate statistical analyses to evaluate measurement properties, this course contains three tutorials in which each student needs to bring their own computer (or lease one from the department).

    These three tutorials include one for questionnaire design with the online tool Qualtrics, and two for getting familiar with statistical analyses of reliability and validity in statistical programs.

    Expected learning outcome

    After the course, students are expected to be able to design a questionnaire, collect data and evaluate the questionnaire’s quality on their own. In more detail, this means that students are expected to be able to:

    1. Discuss and evaluate how different research questions relate to the appropriateness of different research designs, sampling and data collection methods and demonstrate their understanding of how these aspects influence the validity of findings and their interpretation.
    2. Relate the theoretical ideas of psychometry to issues of reliability and validity in data collections done with questionnaires.
    3. Perform statistical factor-analytic techniques and demonstrate understanding of the theoretical ideas behind these in order to evaluate the measurement properties in a questionnaire.
    4. Demonstrate their understanding of methodological questions in research studies through critical evaluations of their own and peers’ work spanning from the formulation of a research question, questionnaire construction and data collection as well as statistical analysis, to the interpretation of findings.

    Both the course lectures and practical exercises are designed to enable the students to write their final report and prepare for the written exams, and students are thus expected to attend lectures and exercises. Students are expected to read the literature before each classroom lecture. Discussions in seminars are based on prepared material.

    Assessment

    The final grade is based on the results of the written examination (test) and the individual research report submitted by each student. Both parts influence the final grade equally.

    For more details, see the course syllabus.

    Examiner

    Course leader: Jacobus Pienaar, jacobus.pienaar@psychology.su.se

  • Schedule

    The schedule will be available no later than one month before the start of the course. We do not recommend print-outs as changes can occur. At the start of the course, your department will advise where you can find your schedule during the course.
  • Course literature

    Note that the course literature can be changed up to two months before the start of the course.

    A complete list of course readings is found in the course syllabus.

    The list is subject to change until two months prior to the start of the course. In case the new course syllabus is missing above by then, please check with the course leader before you buy any expensive books etc.

  • More information

    One of the courses Applied questionnaire methods, 7,5 credits, and Qualitative interviewing, 7,5 credits, is compulsory for the International two-year master’s program in psychology, 120 credits.

  • Contact

    Registered students should primarily use Athena for teacher communication.

    To contact the Student office or a Student Councellor, see below.

    More contacts in Education

    Student office - Master's level and PhD Studies
    Study councellor - Master's level