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Advantages and Disadvantages of Questionnaires

Last modified at 5/26/2011 5:31 PM by CeRC


The main advantage of using questionnaires is that a large number of people can be reached relatively easily and economically. A standard questionnaire provides quantifiable answers for a research topic. These answers are relatively easy to analyse.


Questionnaires are not always the best way to gather information. For example, if there is little previous information on a problem, a questionnaire may only provide limited additional insight. On one hand, the investigators may not have asked the right questions which allow new insight in the research topic. On the other hand, questions often only allow a limited choice of responses. If the right response is not among the choice of answers, the investigators will obtain little or no valid information.

Another setback of questionnaires is the varying responses to questions. Respondents sometimes misunderstand or misinterpret questions. If this is the case, it will be very hard to correct these mistakes and collect missing data in a second round.