What Type of Data Is a Questionnaire?
A questionnaire is a widely used tool in research and data collection. It is a set of structured questions designed to gather specific information from individuals or groups. The data obtained from questionnaires can be classified into different types, depending on the nature of the questions and the response options provided.
1. Categorical Data
Categorical data, also known as nominal data, is obtained from questions that have predefined categories or options. These categories are non-numeric and represent different attributes or characteristics.
- Example: Gender (Male, Female, Other)
- Example: Marital Status (Single, Married, Divorced)
2. Ordinal Data
Ordinal data is obtained from questions that require respondents to rank or rate items based on a specific criterion. The categories in ordinal data have an inherent order or hierarchy.
- Example: Likert Scale (Strongly Agree, Agree, Neutral, Disagree, Strongly Disagree)
- Example: Education Level (Primary School, High School, Bachelor’s Degree, Master’s Degree)
3. Interval Data
Interval data is obtained from questions that measure quantities on a continuous scale with equal intervals between values. Interval data does not have an absolute zero point.
- Example: Temperature in Celsius or Fahrenheit
- Example: Likert Scale with Numeric Values (1-5)
4. Ratio Data
Ratio data is obtained from questions that measure quantities on a continuous scale with equal intervals between values and an absolute zero point. Ratio data allows for comparison of magnitudes and mathematical calculations.
- Example: Age (in years)
- Example: Income (in dollars)
In conclusion, the type of data obtained from a questionnaire depends on the nature of the questions and the response options provided. Categorical data, ordinal data, interval data, and ratio data are the four main types. Understanding the type of data collected is essential for appropriate analysis and interpretation in research studies.