My primary method of research is going to be a self-completion questionnaire. This will be a positivist method of research, which attempts to explain behaviour in terms of cause and effect. Positivist research primarily uses scientific methods to obtain quantitative data. My first advantage with this method is that closed questioned questionnaires are reliable getting the same answers more than once. My second advantage is that closed questioned questionnaires are objective so they don’t get affected by my views and values.
My third advantage is that this method of research is quick and representative meaning I can get information from a large range of people. The practicality of this research method is that it is quick and immediate rather than booking interviews with people. This will allow me to collect quantitative data, which means the data collected will be numerical. I will be doing questionnaires because although designing the questionnaire and performing the pilot studies will take some time, once in use questionnaires can be used to take a large quantity of data off a large number of people in a relatively short period of time.
Also with questionnaires the data collected can easily be quantified. With this advantage I can get representative results that represent a wide range of people so I can make generalisations about conjugal roles in middle class families. Also with this quantitative method of research my results could be more accurate as the results will be anonymous and this fact will make people feel safer about answering more personal questions. This method will also be objective as I can keep my views out of my questions as they are closed which is good as my questionnaire will be unbiased.
I will ensure that I’m always objective when designing my questionnaire. Through my self-completion questionnaire I will be able to extract a large amount of information quickly in comfort that it will be reliable. It is reliable because I will have the same answers appear more than once because of my closed questions. My method will be less time consuming than an interpretative method but my sample size will be larger. This I believe is the most practical method as is it the quickest and I can hand it out to a wider range of people and receive a wider range of information than in an interview.
This method also suits my aim in this project which is to extract information about conjugal roles in middle class families and to get a broad prospective I would need to use a closed question questionnaire. One Interpretivist criticism is that using a closed question questionnaire is that the answers you get do not have any depth they are just “yes” and “no” answers so you have to choose your questions carefully. Another interpretivist criticism is that questionnaires lack validity as they lack detail and you can not tell if the person in question is telling the truth.
Also the questionnaire lacks verstehen which means it cannot be empathetic towards the situation. Although the interview takes longer and you won’t be able to cover as many people you can get in depth personal answers which are unfortunately absent in a closed question questionnaire. As this piece of research I will be doing is for a piece of coursework I am given a limited amount of time to perform my study and using interviews would take up to much time organising and actually performing them so I have come to my final conclusion that the questionnaire is quicker, more practical and a none bias way of performing the study.
Also these questionnaires lack validity and empathy for the sample. I will perform a pilot study to find out if my study is adequate and to find the right questions for the questionnaire. Once I have constructed my questionnaire I will do a pilot test on 5 people to see if I have worded my questions correctly and if I have missed out any essential questions. I will obtain my samples by starting with couples I know and then expanding onto their friends and so on. My first pilot study asked the wrong type of questions and was insensitive and was too broad. I corrected these mistakes to a more sensitive, specific questionnaire.