Using a Principled Approach to Developing a Personality Questionnaire
Keywords: Questionnaire design, item analysis, SPSS, learner personality
Wayo Women’s University, Chiba, Japan
Keio University, Tokyo, Japan
Rick Romanko is an associate professor at Wayo Women’s University in Chiba, Japan. He holds an M. Ed. in TESOL from Temple University. His research interests include corpora-informed vocabulary and language learning and developing extensive reading programmes.
Miyuki Nakatsugawa is a lecturer at Keio University in Tokyo, Japan. She holds an M. Ed. in TESOL from Temple University. Her research interests focus on developing theoretically and empirically sound language teaching practices.
Dörnyei (2010) suggests that careful and creative questionnaire construction informed by the principles of survey research can result in an instrument that cultivates reliable and valid data, which in turn can be processed in a scientifically sound manner. On a more practical note, questionnaires are familiar to most people and are efficient in terms of researcher time, effort and financial resources. Despite these potential strengths and practicalities, questionnaires are also known to be notoriously difficult to design well. Designing effective questionnaires involves the consideration of a number of issues during different stages of the design process. This paper describes the first seven major steps to constructing a questionnaire and then, it reports on how the seven steps were implemented to develop a bank of question items to measure five different aspects of learner personality of Japanese university students. Practical suggestions for developing questionnaires based on survey research and functional instructions for data analysis using SPSS are provided.