Open-Ended Survey Method Issues

Qualitative data used in various studies are helpful in determining more unbiased answers from the respondents. One way to gain full understanding of what people think and feel is to analyze the context in terms of asking for their comments or answers through asking open-ended questioning. In lieu of this, a qualitative data survey method can assess how people think and feel about a certain thing. Open-ended questions can carry out results that can be quantified. Quantifying the results from these open-ended questions can be associated from the obtained results in the information gathered with a demographic or other quantitative data.

This is possible with “linguistic analysis that examines a person’s verbal communications through semantics, syntax, and the context of it” (Pullman, McGuire & Cleveland, 2005). Words said and used by the various respondents will be the subject for analysis. In considering the quantitative analysis from the open-ended questions, words will be counted as to how frequent and similar their answers are (Creswell, 2003).

Towards a Healthy Diet In recent years, there are many changes in people’s lifestyles. Two of these things are related to how people eat and their idea of which foods are healthy.

There are people who are conscious on the foods they eat, still some do not care. These are some open-ended questions that can be asked to sample respondents of this survey: 1. What are the common foods do you consume? 2. How do you describe your eating habits? 3. What is your idea of healthy foods? Quantifying the Responses Doing research needs the gathering of information from other sources.

It can be in the form of primary sources like doing an interview or survey and it can also be through secondary sources like books or journals that can be searched in the library.

A step-by-step procedure is helpful in assessing and analyzing the responses gathered from the survey results among respondents (Hollway, 2000). The research can be done by providing detailed questionnaires to the sample respondents regarding their eating habits. This will be the starting point that can make the study more appropriate and effective. The responses of the survey can be analyzed through factor analysis by gathering the various responses in the survey and discover simple patterns among the variables (Creswell, 2003).

Content analysis and data linking will be helpful in the study because these “count frequencies, sequences, or location of words and phrases that will connect the data that are relevant to each other” (Pullman, McGuire & Cleveland, 2005). This will form categories from the information from the words used by the respondents of the survey. Linguistic analysis can also be used “to identify and count key ideas, the grammar used, and behavior” (Pullman, McGuire & Cleveland, 2005). These things will help a researcher quantify the results from the responses made in the open-ended questions asked.

A matrix or network can be used to organize and condense the data that can make the survey study easier to analyze (Hollway, 2000). Strengths and Limitations of the Survey Methodology The open-ended questions survey method allows the researcher to gain more details in the answers to the questions. It is more assured that there is less biased in the answers of respondents since their answers are not constrained in a manner of limited choices. This survey method can help researchers gather information more accurately in a manner wherein the respondents can express more their answers since they will be answering the survey the way they like.

A researcher can acquire wide range of responses without any influence. Although this kind of survey may have several advantages or strengths, it also has its limitations. It is very time-consuming to collect and analyze responses using this kind of survey method. It could be a disadvantage with its variability in the clarity and depth of the responses gathered. Another thing is that it involves subjective judgments during summarization and is prone to error. Also, respondents may not use the same frame of reference when the options are not available (Oatey, 1999). Understanding Eating Habits through Open-Ended Survey Method

Various research and studies showed that the number of cases of overweight or obesity was increasing. Research showed that people have indicated at some point their intention to change their eating habits and activity levels. An online survey was developed to gather information on how these people undertake the process of changing their eating habits and physical activity, the level of success in making, maintaining and strategies they do. A provided percentage result was given regarding the attempt of people to change their eating habits. This measured the number of willingness of people to change their lifestyle and activity on eating.

Furthermore, through the survey method done, the levels of success in achieving behavior change in people’s eating habits were determined. The survey method actually helped in knowing the weight characteristics of the respondents that is very helpful in gathering information regarding the eating habits of people. The respondents were asked to state their problems about health, weight and level of fitness in the given survey. Through the open-ended survey method done in this study, it was found out that the respondents composed of 53% obese, 33% overweight and only 24% were normal.

Such findings indicate that many people do not perceive that they’re obese and overweight. This survey report explained the importance of the development of specific coping skills for successful behavior change in the eating lifestyle and physical activities of many people (Matthews, 2007).


  • Creswell, J. (2003). Research design: qualitative, quantitative, and mixed method approaches. Sage Publications. Hollway, W. (2000). Doing qualitative research differently: free association, narrative and the interview method. Sage Publications.
  • Matthews, R. (2007).Health behavior change: eating habits and physical exercise. Retrieved July 26, 2009 from http://www. psychology. org. au/inpsych/health_behaviour/
  • Oatey, A. (1999). The strengths and limitations of interviews as a research technique for studying television viewers. Retrieved July 26, 2009 from http://www. aber. ac. uk/media/Students/aeo9702. html
  • Pullman, M. , McGuire, K. & Cleveland, C. (2005). Let me count the words: quantifying open-ended interactions with guests. Cornell Hotel & Restaurant Administration Quarterly. Retrieved July 26, 2009 from http://www. allbusiness. com/accommodation-food-services/498941-1. html
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