Advantages of open-ended questions in qualitative research

The current blogspot will be based on the question “what are the advantages  and disadvantages of open ended and close ended questions?”. We will learn the various advantages of using open ended questions in research. We will also discuss in detail the disadvantages of using open ended questions in research.

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

Qualitative research is a type of research that is based on the process of collecting, analyzing and interpreting the non numerical data. The data in qualitative research is gathered through questions that are not based on numeric data that is gathered through questionnaires and survey forms based on open ended questions and close ended questions.

The open ended questions are mostly used in qualitative research studies because these questions allow the researchers to take a more deeper and holistic approach to study the underlying concepts.

Unlike the close-ended questions, open ended questions do not provide the participants with a series of options based on a predetermined set of answer choices. The open ended questions, instead provide the participants with a free hand to respond to the questionnaires being used as per their will and opinion in their own words and express their own feelings. 

The open ended questions are often used by researchers in qualitative researchers to conduct a research study with a more holistic approach. The qualitative research methods and exploratory studies mostly use open ended questions.

The data collected through the open ended questions in qualitative research studies provide the opportunity to the participants to respond to the research queries with their own set of ideas and information, thus the data gathered is more versatile and diverse as compared to data gathered with closed ended qualitative survey reports

What are the possible advantages of using open ended questions in qualitative research?

The possible advantages of using open ended questions in qualitative research are as below :

  • Open ended questions have a less possibility of responder based errors in qualitative research
  • Respondents are more likely to remember their answers when they are involved in data collection through open ended questions in a qualitative research
  • Open ended questions in a qualitative research are a prevention from respondents ending up by answering the question by simply marking any of the given options without thoroughly reading the options.
  • Open ended question in qualitative research enable the participants of the research to provide subjective answers to questions 
  • Open-ended questions being used in qualitative research enable participants to include as many ideas, opinions and facts as they want to support their answer.
  • Open-ended questions in qualitative research help the participants to portray their feelings regarding the topic of the qualitative research.
  • The open ended questions in qualitative research also give an opportunity to the research participants to express their lack of interest about the topic of the study or communicate their opinion about the effectiveness of the qualitative research study that is being conducted.
  • Data collected through open ended questions in a research study tends to yield a more valid insight about the research topic and get a deeper insight to the underlying processes
  • The results of the analysis of the data gathered through the open ended questions in a qualitative research enables the researchers gather more information related to the implication of the research topic and validate the rationale 
  • The data gathered from open ended questions in a qualitative research lay basis for hypothesis generation for future quantitative research on the same topic
  • The open ended questions, when used in a qualitative research, enable the researchers to use unstructured questions for data analysis including group discussion, participant interviews and observations in a controlled setting.
  • The open ended question in qualitative research helps the researchers to gain descriptive information about the research topic and gather details related to the descriptive data.

What are the reasons behind using open ended questions in a qualitative research study?

The reasons behind using an open ended question in a research study include the following :

  • The answers in a qualitative study based on open ended questions are unlimited and not based on a few options. The respondents have a free hand to voice their concerns, whether they are happy or unhappy.
  • The open ended questions in a qualitative research study provide the participants with a medium to answer the questions and present  their concerns in a creative manner
  • The vision of the research participants may add to the findings of the research and the creative answers to the questions may add to the quality of the research
  • The freedom of expression in open ended questions in a qualitative research give options to the research participants to include as many factors and ideas as possible, thus the respondents may come up with something of a close relation related to the research topic that the researcher has not thought upon.
  • The respondents logic, thought, perception and feelings are better understood in a qualitative research with the use of  open ended questions
  • The open ended questions in a qualitative research help the researchers to know their participants better
  • The open ended questions in qualitative research related to consumer behavior and buying patterns help the marketers understand their clientele better for better improvements in their product quality and design.

Conclusion

The current blogpsot was based on the question “what are the advantages and disadvantages of open ended questions in research?”. We learned the various advantages and discussed in detail the various disadvantages associated with the use of open ended questions in research.

Frequently asked questions : advantages of open-ended questions in qualitative research

What are the advantages of open questions?

The advantages of open ended question include :

  • A descriptive information about the topic
  • Creative answers to the same question
  • Expression of feelings related to the question topic
  • Diversity of answers
  • Better understanding of the participant’s thoughts and ideas

Are open ended questions good for research?

The open ended questions are good for conducting qualitative research as they provide a deeper insight into the respondent’s thoughts, feelings and behavior. They also serve the purpose of providing various implications based on the diverse creative responses of the participants.

What are the three disadvantages of open ended questions?

The open ended questions have the following disadvantages :

  • The data collected through open ended questions is more difficult to interpret
  • The open ended questions results are more subjective
  • The open ended questions leave the respondents to answer with multiple type of formats that are time consuming to format

Citations

https://www.infosurv.com/open-ended-questions-qualitative-research/
https://monkeylearn.com/blog/advantages-of-open-ended-questions/
https://www.questionpro.com/blog/what-are-open-ended-questions/
https://writing.colostate.edu/guides/popup.cfm?pageid=1414&guideid=68

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