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A sheet with a series of (usually multiple choice) questions on it. Participants are asked to answer the questions in order to provide information to the person or organization issuing the questionnaire. Questionnaires are frequently used in marketing to gauge interest in a product, campaign, price, or almost anything else.
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a structured list of questions which is used to obtain information. It is frequently used in MARKETING RESEARCH to help identify consumers' needs and motivations and to gauge their reactions to present product offerings. Considerable care and skill needs to be exercised in the preparation, development and testing of questionnaires before they are used, and in interpreting the results obtained.

Questionnaires may be designed to take a highly structured form, involving detailed questions requiring simply yes/no answers or multiple choices, or ratings on a scale. Such questionnaires are generally used to elicit simple information and are often administered to large samples of potential respondents through the post. Alternatively, semi-structured questionnaires may be used, which are generally administered personally to smaller samples of potential respondents and give interviewees more flexibility in answering set questions and elaborating on their answers when responding to supplementary questions. For some purposes unstructured questionnaires may be used with small samples of respondents to provide brief guidelines to personal interviewers as to the main areas to be investigated in their discussions with respondents. Such questionnaires are often, used as part of a pilot survey as a basis for compiling a more structured questionnaire.

The confidence with which the results of a questionnaire can be used depends on the response rate, that is, the actual proportion of contacted consumers who complete and return a postal questionnaire or answer fully the personally conducted questionnaires. See MARKETING INTELLIGENCE.

Collins Dictionary of Business, 3rd ed. © 2002, 2005 C Pass, B Lowes, A Pendleton, L Chadwick, D O’Reilly and M Afferson
References in periodicals archive ?
Most self-administered surveys would likely result in increased respondent accuracy if both of the following sets of questions were included: (1) have you ever purchased the following brands?
The combined number of pertussis cases identified from the self-administered survey and the household interview survey was 345, including 65 confirmed and 280 probable cases.
Follow-up telephone interviews also were conducted with 50 food service directors who responded to the self-administered survey. The interview sample included a geographic mix of districts, with representation from urban, rural, and suburban communities.
The study was based on data from a self-administered survey conducted in 2002 at a suburban abortion clinic that served inner-city New Orleans women, and an interviewer-administered survey conducted in 2002-2003 at a prenatal screening clinic that is the first stop for women seeking free care during pregnancy.
The self-administered survey was part of a study of the care provided by generalists and specialists for children with rheumatic complaints.
At each study visit, participants underwent a physical examination and interval history, reported clinical symptoms and completed self-administered surveys, and underwent repeat laboratory evaluations.
This highlights an important limitation of self-administered surveys. It has been shown in meta-analysis that surveys administered over the internet have significantly lower response rates than mail-out surveys.
This practical guide for researchers explains how to create and conduct self-administered surveys via the mail, the Internet, the telephone, or a combination of methods.

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