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Research questions, hypotheses and objectives

Objectives of this article

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A 2-sided hypothesis should be used unless there is a good justification for using a 1-sided hypothesis. The research hypothesis should be stated at the beginning of the study to guide the objectives for research. Whereas the investigators may state the hypothesis as being 1-sided there is an improvement with treatment , the study and investigators must adhere to the concept of clinical equipoise.

According to this principle, a clinical or surgical trial is ethical only if the expert community is uncertain about the relative therapeutic merits of the experimental and control groups being evaluated. Designing a research hypothesis is supported by a good research question and will influence the type of research design for the study. Acting on the principles of appropriate hypothesis development, the study can then confidently proceed to the development of the research objective.

The primary objective should be coupled with the hypothesis of the study. Study objectives define the specific aims of the study and should be clearly stated in the introduction of the research protocol. Note that the study objective is an active statement about how the study is going to answer the specific research question.

Objectives can and often do state exactly which outcome measures are going to be used within their statements. They are important because they not only help guide the development of the protocol and design of study but also play a role in sample size calculations and determining the power of the study. For example, the most methodologically sound randomized controlled trial comparing 2 techniques of distal radial fixation would have little or no clinical impact if the primary objective was to determine the effect of treatment A as compared to treatment B on intraoperative fluoroscopy time.

However, if the objective was to determine the effect of treatment A as compared to treatment B on patient functional outcome at 1 year, this would have a much more significant impact on clinical decision-making. Second, more meaningful surgeon—patient discussions could ensue, incorporating patient values and preferences with the results from this study. The following is an example from the literature about the relation between the research question, hypothesis and study objectives:.

Low-intensity pulsed ultrasound for chronic patellar tendinopathy: How does low-intensity pulsed ultrasound LIPUS compare with a placebo device in managing the symptoms of skeletally mature patients with patellar tendinopathy? The development of the research question is the most important aspect of a research project. A research project can fail if the objectives and hypothesis are poorly focused and underdeveloped.

Useful tips for surgical researchers are provided in Box 3. Designing and developing an appropriate and relevant research question, hypothesis and objectives can be a difficult task. The critical appraisal of the research question used in a study is vital to the application of the findings to clinical practice. Focusing resources, time and dedication to these 3 very important tasks will help to guide a successful research project, influence interpretation of the results and affect future publication efforts.

No funding was received in preparation of this paper. National Center for Biotechnology Information , U. Journal List Can J Surg v. DeGroote School of Medicine, the. Bhandari, Wellington St. Accepted Jan This article has been cited by other articles in PMC. Objectives of this article In this article, we discuss important considerations in the development of a research question and hypothesis and in defining objectives for research.

Research question Interest in a particular topic usually begins the research process, but it is the familiarity with the subject that helps define an appropriate research question for a study. Open in a separate window. Research hypothesis The primary research question should be driven by the hypothesis rather than the data. Research objective The primary objective should be coupled with the hypothesis of the study.

A built-in analysis also speeds up data gathering. All this information gives marketers the capability to create new strategies and to follow trends in your audience. Mail-in questionnaires also allow for complete invisibility, which maximizes comfort for those answering.

Even phone interviews are not face-to-face, thereby making it a more private communication. This concealment puts respondents at ease and encourages them to answer truthfully; however, there is still a human touch to these phone interviews. Digital questionnaires give the best sense of anonymity and privacy. This type of questionnaire is great for all sorts of businesses and subject matter and results in the most honest answers.

You can be sure your results will be much more accurate when using this method. One of the biggest advantages is being able to ask as many questions as you like. Of course, it benefits the marketer to keep each individual questionnaire short, since respondents may find a long one frustrating.

However, since they are efficient, cost-effective in nature and have an easy mode of delivery, there is no harm in creating multiple surveys that build upon one another. Outweigh both the pros and cons of a survey before you make your decision. While there are many positives to questionnaires, dishonesty can be an issue. Respondents may not be percent truthful with their answers. Stop dishonesty in its tracks by assuring respondents that their privacy is valued and that the process prevents personal identification.

At times, answers will be chosen before fully reading the question or the potential answers. Sometimes respondents will skip through questions, or split-second choices may be made, affecting the validity of your data. The trouble with not presenting questions to users face-to-face is that each may have different interpretations of your questions.

Without someone to explain the questionnaire fully and ensure each individual has the same understanding, results can be subjective. Respondents may have trouble grasping the meaning of some questions that may seem clear to the creator. This miscommunication can lead to skewed results.

The best way to combat this situation is to create simple questions that are easy to answer. A survey or questionnaire cannot fully capture emotional responses or the feelings of the respondents.

Without administering the questionnaire face-to-face, there is no way to observe facial expression, reactions or body language. Without these subtleties, useful data can go unnoticed.

Questionnaires produce a lot of data. Multiple choice questions can be tabulated and graphed, but open-ended questions are different. Open-ended questions allow for individualized answers which cannot be quantified and must be reviewed by a human.

Too many open-ended questions can produce more data than can be analyzed. Fix this pitfall but choosing your question types carefully. As with any sort of research, bias can be an issue. Participants in your survey may have an interest in your product, idea or service. Others may be influenced to participate based on the subject of your questionnaire. These proclivities can lead to inaccuracies in your data, generated from an imbalance of respondents who see your topic in an overly positive or negative light.

Filter out a hidden agenda with a pre-screening. Come up with a few indirect questions that will remove those results wreckers. Customization is the prevailing marketing theme.

Any piece of marketing material is at risk of seeming impersonal unless time and care are taken to personalize it. This can be particularly difficult when the questionnaire or survey is taken voluntarily on a website, outside of a purchase or email. Fix this by always sending emails containing respondents names.

Use dynamic content on websites, and strive to use names, personal data and personalized content in all communication. When using questionnaires, there is a chance that some questions will be ignored. They also allow researchers to obtain succinct answers to multiple questions related to their central research topic.

Due to their simple design, questionnaires can be distributed to almost any demographic group and therefore offer a practical method for researchers to gather primary data in sectors that would otherwise be difficult to reach.

Oxbridge Primary Research offers a comprehensive range of questionnaire services for all levels of students, from A-Level to PhD. Oxbridge Primary Research employs nearly a thousand researchers - including many professors, PhD holders and professional scientists working at the cutting edge of their fields - who are well-practised in designing a range of questionnaires for different research purposes.

One such researcher would be delighted to design for you a questionnaire or survey template, according to your exact requirements, and, if you wish, to distribute this template for you. Using this service, your researcher will design a questionnaire template that is perfect for the particular research that you would like to be conducted. This template can be selected from a range of questionnaire styles, and the researcher will take the greatest care in choosing questions that will elicit excellent primary data responses.

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Primary research: Questionnaires Why should I use questionnaires as part of my primary research? Questionnaires allow you to find out information such as facts, attitudes and opinions. They are a simple way to gather short responses to questions from people. Questionnaires are less time consuming than interviews and can easily be kept .

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Primary research is designed to meet your unique and specific needs. This fundamental research is conducted by you (if you're on a tight budget), or by a research firm that you hire for the project—usually a firm that comes recommended by a colleague. The research can include focus groups, surveys, interviews, and observations.

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Questionnaires and surveys are a comprehensive and inexpensive means of gathering large amounts of both quantitative and qualitative primary data. Questionnaires and surveys usually have simple designs and can be quickly distributed to . Questionnaires can include the following types of questions: Open question questions differ from other types of questions used in questionnaires in a way that open questions may produce unexpected results, which can make the research more original and valuable.

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Introduction to Primary Research: Observations, Surveys, and Interviews by Dana Lynn Driscoll This essay is a chapter in Writing Spaces: Readings on Writing, Volume 2, a peer-reviewed open textbook series for the writing classroom. When conducting primary market research, you can gather two basic types of information: exploratory or specific. Exploratory research is open-ended, helps you define a specific problem, and.