Simplicity and superficiality of answers

Because respondents are left to their own devices when filling in self-completed questionnaires, the questions need to be sufficiently simple and straightforward to be understood by everybody. Thus, this method is unsuitable for probing deeply into an issue (Moser & Kalton, 1971) and it results in rather superficial data. The necessary simplicity of the questions is further augmented by the fact that the amount of time respondents are usually willing to spend working on a questionnaire is rather short, which again limits the depth of the investigation.

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