What Possible Issues Associated With Consumer Behaviour And Consumption Patterns Might Be Extremely Sensitive Ones To Directly Question Respondents About?

1031 words - 4 pages

3. What possible issues associated with consumer behaviour and consumption patterns might be extremely sensitive ones to directly question respondents about? How might researchers overcome the difficulties of collecting these types of sensitive data?There are various issues and subject matters related to consumer behaviour and consumption patterns that are generally considered sensitive in nature. It can often be difficult to ask direct questions about these subjects and in many cases even more difficult to obtain honest answers.The general areas in which these problems might arise are:Health InformationCriminal RecordsSexual PreferenceSexual BehaviourRaceEthnic BackgroundPolitical ViewsReligionTrade Union MembershipVarious Association MembershipsThe most commonly suggested method for incorporating questions of a delicate nature into a survey is to leave sensitive subject matter until the end of the questionnaire. The reasoning behind this is that if the respondent is deterred by the question and does not answer it or the rest of the survey, you still have obtained the majority of the required information for research. So, it is generally suggested to keep the opening questions general and non-offensive to establish some trust. Most surveys begin with simple demographic questions such as those regarding age, education, income and employment. However, sometimes individuals regard these questions as highly personal and may be unwilling to participate in the research. The conclusion being, it is very difficult to construct an effective survey that satisfies everyone's acceptable boundaries within which to probe for information. When constructing a questionnaire it is perhaps more important to consider how to word the sensitive questions and how to administer the questionnaire itself, than it is to think about the order in which the questions are asked.Type of SurveyPersonal interviews are a disadvantage when inquiring about a delicate subject; respondents are unlikely to feel comfortable discussing private matters with a complete stranger. In contrast, guaranteed anonymity will induce a higher and more honest response rate. A self administered module gives a more secure feeling of privacy and anonymity; it can be carried out by simply asking participants to fill out a sheet or can be carried out using the internet. The current problem with internet surveys though, is the added non-response error related to self selection bias. Federal Collection Agencies in the U.S. have used a type of survey that has both personal and self-administered characteristics. The module incorporates a telephone survey with the privacy of touch tone response entry. These touch tone data entry phone interviews have proved quite effective for their research.LanguageIt is also advisable to be careful when wording the questions. It is best to avoid negative language, for example:Question xPlease indicate the highest level of education you have achieveda) Only High Schoolb)...

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