Researching happiness for my thesis is very vague and unclear. It is because people experience their emotions differently. Therefore, I decided to conduct a survey to find what the average person’s idea of happiness is.
Making a survey requires taking several steps before the questions go out to the public. If I do not take the steps, the survey would not be reliable and might be not accepted by the University.
First, before you start making questions, visit the Office of Research Development and Administration (ORDA) to see what you need to make and get submission forms.
Second, create questions which the respondents can finish in approximately 5 minutes. I wanted to put more questions on my survey but participants would get bored and not have time to take a long survey, so questions must be simple but something that you want know.
Making a variety of question types would help to hold the interest of participants. For example, if you have continuing multiple questions, mix them with scaling questions and/or short answer questions.
Third, check with your committee members and discuss whether or not the questions are clear.
Fourth, figure out how to distribute the survey and how many people you want to respond. The graduate school at Southern Illinois University does not have a minimum number of human subjects. However, with a larger number you get results with high credibility.
Fifth, submit all the materials and forms to ORDA. A survey which involves human subjects has to get approval from ORDA which would take two weeks to process. Confidentiality is the most important aspect of a survey.
Finally, when ORDA gives back your survey to you, you are ready to send the survey out!!
Reference: ORDA at Southern Illinois University http://www.orda.siuc.edu/compliances/