Likert versus Q-approaches in survey methodologies: discrepancies in results with same respondents

Likert versus Q-approaches in survey methodologies: discrepancies in results with same respondents Surveys are constantly used within forest policy processes to obtain information regarding the opinions of stakeholders and the public. Survey outcomes are dependent on what questions are asked, how the answers are structured and analyzed and how interpretations and conclusions are aligned. The most common forms of surveys can be grouped into two categories: the Likert attitude survey, which allows the respondent to freely select an integer value between a minimum and maximum (typically from 1 to 5 or 7), and the Q sort survey, which requires the respondent to sort and classify the importance of questions based on a predefined standard (typically pyramid-shape distribution from disagree to agree). Using similar Likert and Q sort surveys on the same group of respondents in the case of a regional (sub-national) forest policy process, this paper investigates the variability of obtained responses and determines if the choice of survey method would impact the information and potential interpretations provided to the policy makers. The results indicate that survey outcomes may indeed be sensitive to methodology, although respondents would be consistent. When informing policies, it is advisable to carefully consider the purpose and the conduct of the survey, and to make interpretations with prudence. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Quality & Quantity Springer Journals

Likert versus Q-approaches in survey methodologies: discrepancies in results with same respondents

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2014 by Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht
Subject
Social Sciences, general; Methodology of the Social Sciences; Social Sciences, general
ISSN
0033-5177
eISSN
1573-7845
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11135-014-0006-y
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Surveys are constantly used within forest policy processes to obtain information regarding the opinions of stakeholders and the public. Survey outcomes are dependent on what questions are asked, how the answers are structured and analyzed and how interpretations and conclusions are aligned. The most common forms of surveys can be grouped into two categories: the Likert attitude survey, which allows the respondent to freely select an integer value between a minimum and maximum (typically from 1 to 5 or 7), and the Q sort survey, which requires the respondent to sort and classify the importance of questions based on a predefined standard (typically pyramid-shape distribution from disagree to agree). Using similar Likert and Q sort surveys on the same group of respondents in the case of a regional (sub-national) forest policy process, this paper investigates the variability of obtained responses and determines if the choice of survey method would impact the information and potential interpretations provided to the policy makers. The results indicate that survey outcomes may indeed be sensitive to methodology, although respondents would be consistent. When informing policies, it is advisable to carefully consider the purpose and the conduct of the survey, and to make interpretations with prudence.

Journal

Quality & QuantitySpringer Journals

Published: Feb 20, 2014

References

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