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Table 3.5: Pros and Cons of Survey Formats (cont.)

Format

Pros

In Person

Administered by interviewer.

  • Face-to-face persuasion tactics can be used to increase response rates.

  • Participants with limited literacy skills can use this method.

  • The method is useful with hard- to-reach populations (e.g., homeless or with low literacy) or when the intended audience can’t be surveyed by using other data- collection methods.

  • Interviewer can clarify questions for respondents.

  • More questionnaires are completed.

Self-administered:

Respondents asked to complete survey at a loca- tion frequented by the target population (e.g., during a conference, in a classroom, or after view- ing an exhibit at a health fair).

  • Harder-to-reach respondents can be contacted in locations conven- ient and comfortable for them.

  • The survey can be conducted quickly.

  • Data can be gathered cost-effec- tively in a relatively short time.

  • Selecting an appropriate location can result in an increased number of respondents from intended population.

Self-administered on computer:

Questionnaire is displayed on a computer screen and respondents key in answers.

  • “Skip patterns” can be included, which is useful for complex questionnaires.

  • The sequence of questions can be controlled.

  • Need for data entry is eliminated, and quick summary and analysis of results are provided.

Chapter 3: Gaining and Using Target Audience Insights

Cons

  • Administration is more expen- sive than self-administered surveys or telephone data collection.

  • This method may not be appropriate for sensitive issues because respondents may not answer as truthfully in person.

  • The ability to reach respondents in person at a central location or gathering is required.

  • Respondents must have complex, mature literacy skills.

  • Use is not appropriate for audi- ences with limited literacy skills or those uncomfortable with computers.

  • Expensive technical equipment is required that may not be readily available or may be cumbersome in many settings.

  • Respondents must have access to programmed computers and be comfortable using computers.

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