Advantages and disadvantages of open-ended questions in research

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The current blogpost will be based on the question “what are advantages and disadvantages of open-ended questions in research?”. We will learn the various merits and demerits of using open ended questions in research. We will also discuss all the advantages and disadvantages of open ended questions in research.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of open-ended questions in research?

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Open ended questions are a type of questions that are asked during research studies. There are many different advantages and disadvantages of open ended questions in research studies. 

Open-ended questions are defined as a type of questions that cannot be simply answered in a rating format or a yes or no format. Rather, the open ended questions are based on freestyle responding that is based on subjective answers including facts, feelings, thoughts, opinions and emotions.

Open-ended questions are mostly used in research because they help the researcher to gather a deeper insight into the variables of the study that is being conducted. As a result there is usually a greater chance to have detailed responses with reasons and facts along with emotions from the respondents participating in the research study.

The advantages of open ended questions in research are as follows :

  • Unlimited responses
  • Deeper insight
  • Explore new aspects
  • Offer a deeper qualitative data
  • Involves sentiments
  • Minimum chance or errors
  • Opportunity for the analysis of secondary data

Unlimited responses

The advantage of using open ended questions in research is that there is no end point or a predetermined direction for the data. It is possible through the use of open ended questions that respondents may approach the same question in a variety of different ways and thus respond in various ways that are unique and subjective to each respondent.

Deeper insight

Through the use of open ended questions in research there is a great chance to achieve a deeper insight. This advantage of using open ended questions in research often delivers new insights that have deeper connections with the research data.

Explore new aspects

One of the advantages of the open ended questions is that through the use of open ended questions researchers can explore news aspects of their research. Since the answers to open ended questions are based on subjective experiences, attitudes, opinions and emotions, it is always possible that the researcher ends up exploring new aspects to his research idea as a result of using open ended questions for data collection. 

Advantages and disadvantages of open-ended questions in research

Offer a deeper qualitative data

Through the use of open ended questions in research, the researcher can obtain a deeper qualitative data. The researcher can find out the reasons behind the existence of a particular relation and also explore informed relations. Through the use of open-ended questions, the researcher is able to read between the lines and overcome the ambiguities related to the relationship between the research variables.

Involves sentiments

Unlike closed ended questions, open ended questions when used in research studies help the researcher to gather data that is based on sentiments and emotions. The attitudes and thoughts of the respondents are more clear and comprehensible in open ended responses.

Minimum chance or errors

The open ended questions provide us with a minimum chance of errors. The first benefit is that respondents are less likely to forget their answers and the chance of randomly picking up any answer among the options gets minimized.

Opportunity for the analysis of secondary data

The advantage of open ended questions is that they can be readily used for the analysis of the secondary data. The open ended questions provide data for socioeconomic factors including gender, education, age and marital status. 

What are the disadvantages of open ended questions in research?

The disadvantages of open ended questions when used in research are as follows :

  • Time consuming
  • Difficulty in obtaining measurable and quantitative data
  • Easy to reject irrelevant answers
  • Difficulty in customizing data
  • Difference in the details

Time consuming

The disadvantage of using open ended questions in research is that such questions are time consuming and it’s difficult to read through all the answers and finalize the data. Since the responses contain feelings, attitudes, opinions and thoughts so finding the relevant data usually gets difficult with open ended questions.

Difficulty in obtaining measurable and quantitative data

When data is collected through open-ended questions, the difficulty in obtaining and measuring data is a common disadvantage that is usually reported. Because data obtained through open ended questions is difficult to measure and sort quantitatively.

Difficult to reject irrelevant answers

In the data collected through the open ended questions it usually becomes difficult to reject the irrelevant answers. All answers must be gone through thoroughly before rejecting them and the researcher needs to find out the connection between the respondents answers and the research objective.

Difficulty in customizing data

Unlike the close ended questions, open ended questions are difficult to replicate. It usually becomes difficult for the researcher to modify the data gathered through the open ended questions while doing a research. There is a limited control over the length of the responses being provided in data gathered through open ended questions.

Difference in the details

A disadvantage in gathering the data through open ended questions while doing research is that the data has a variety of content and there is a difference in the details of responses in the data compiled as a result of analysis through open ended questions.

Conclusion

The current blogpost was based on the question “ “what are advantages and disadvantages of open-ended questions in research?”. We discussed the various advantages and disadvantages of open ended questions in research. We also learned ways to minimize the merits and demerits of open ended questions in research.

Frequently asked questions : advantages and disadvantages of open-ended questions in research

What is the advantage of open-ended questions in research?

The advantages of open ended questions in research are as follows :

  • allow respondents to include more information
  • including feelings
  • attitudes and understanding of the subject

What is a disadvantage of using open questions in survey research?

The disadvantage of using open ended questions in survey research are as follows :

  • Time-consuming
  • Low response rate
  • Difficult to analyze and interpret data
  • Not a good way to find out quantitative statistics
  • Can gather a lot of irrelevant data

What are the advantages and disadvantages of using a close ended questionnaire?

The advantages and disadvantages of using a close ended questionnaire are as follows :

  • Easier and quicker to answer
  • Help in obtaining measurable and quantitative data
  • Better understanding through answer options
  • Customers are more likely to respond
  • Help to get rid of irrelevant answers
  • Comparable answers
  • Can be customized easily

Citations

https://monkeylearn.com/blog/advantages-of-open-ended-questions/

https://www.zonkafeedback.com/blog/advantages-and-disadvantages-of-closed-ended-questions

https://writing.colostate.edu/guides/popup.cfm?pageid=1414&guideid=68

https://monkeylearn.com/blog/advantages-of-open-ended-questions/

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