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What is Schema Dynamics Programming

Posted by Ştefan Alexandrescu on 06/07/2017

 

The terminology

“Schema” comes from schema therapy and refers to the maladaptive schemas taxonomy developed by Jeffrey Young, Ph.D. and his collaborators since the ’80s. It is the problem-oriented component of the field, using psychometric questionnaires developed and tested by scientists to evaluate which are the schemas and modes which pathologically influence the emotions, the thoughts, the behavior and the language of the people. Schemas are triggered by traumas, most likely from childhood and, through complications, when activated, may generate discomfort, stress, challenge, failure and ultimately, psychiatric illness.

Dynamics” comes from “Spiral Dynamics”, a field founded in the ’70s by Clare Graves, Ph.D., and it refers to the multiple values levels layered in the personality, which may be changing in time. It is the results-driven component of the field, using advanced psychometric testing developed by professional researchers in order to discover which type of potential and perspective is enabled in order to support the transformational development of the individuals and societies.

Programming” comes from “Neuro-Linguistic Programming” (NLP), the field developed by Richard Bandler and John Grinder, Ph.D. starting in the ’70s, centered on using complex practical processes in order to provide with models of excellence. Although sometimes presented as a pseudoscience, some fields of NLP, such as metaprograms and values have been psychometrically tested as scientifically valid models of correctly structuring the language, behavior and personality.

ST (schema therapy) and NLP (neuro-linguistic programming) have both common roots in Gestalt therapy.

In some NLP Master Practitioner training, the Spiral Dynamics model is studied.

 

Positioning

What are the characteristics of Schema Dynamics Programming? How is SDP different from:

  • Psychotherapy?

  • NLP (neuro-linguistic programming)?

  • Spiral Dynamics?

  • ST (schema therapy)?

  • Coaching?

SDP (Schema Dynamics Programming) provides the client with a flexible set of processes for personal transformation. This enables the functions of both psychotherapy and coaching: it works both for the traumas in the past and the goals in the future.

SDP provides a directed structure. The schema dynamic programmer knows how to recognize and measure the results of the changes when dealing with personal issues, professional goals, past, present and future. The structure is directed in the sense that the schema dynamic programmer uses both descriptive complex maps and tools to knows where the client is, knows where (s)he wants to go and, after considering the available options (tools, processes, techniques), chooses one or several procedures to follow and monitor.

To merely give an example, as a difference to coaching, the schema dynamic programmer may offer his/her opinion, contradict the client and give advice if necessary. The schema dynamic programmer is focused on practical exercises and homework which require a solid amount of effort (emotional, and even physical and logistic) from the client. This work is both oriented to the past and the future and it does not accept the personality of the client as a given, but as a starting point in the work done, which is a mere effect of life experiences and environment and may be subject to change.

Using this strategic approach, with the appropriate approach, issues such as introversion, panic attacks, PTSD, psychosomatization, phobias, alixitimy, allergies, emotional stress response, abandonment, mistrust, emotional deprivation, entitlement, abandonment and others (to name just a few) can be completely and ultimately removed and replaced with functional systems within the subconscious and the conscious.

As a set of tools oriented towards professional growth, SDP (Schema Dynamics Programming) can provide clients with life-changing experiences which enable them to advance in the Spiral Dynamics model within months (in stead of years) and achieve professional and personal benefits such as:

  • job and career change and performance;

  • happy marriages;

  • increased revenues;

  • status change.

SDP (Schema Dynamics Programming) focuses, as ST (schema therapy) does as well, on both emotional and cognitive-rational aspects of the change, but where ST (schema therapy) insists on working with modes (especially considering the psychiatric interventions), SDP (Schema Dynamics Programming) insists on working with metaprograms. Where ST (schema therapy) insists on working with imagery, SDP (Schema Dynamics Programming) has its own, much more effective and advanced process, designed by its founder. Such processes are similar to several NLP techniques but different from all of them, and it does not necessarily involve trance/hypnosis. NLP is also more focused on fast solving of the surface issues, which may work in alleviating effects but not always causes. For example, a metaprogram change can be successful for a healthy adult, but may be undone if at the root of the metaprogram change there is a maladaptive schema caused by an abusive trauma from the past.

Where ST (schema therapy) insists on analysis, SDP (Schema Dynamics Programming) insists on homework and delegating as much of the change work to the client, once (s)he earns the skills and learns the processes a model for personal change. While psychotherapy generally insists on the necessity of the process being administered by a state-approved specialist, the SDP (Schema Dynamics Programming) processes can be easy, independently learned and applied by each client, provided (s)he has the appropriate personality and skills inclinations. In this sense, SDP (Schema Dynamics Programming) is nearer to coaching. While the client is encouraged to use for the self some of the processes, (s)he is not encouraged to become a schema dynamic programmer with other people without proper supervision.

Spiral Dynamics offers a deep conceptual framework which many of the psychologists and psychiatrists are not aware of and not even most of the coaches. On this foundation, an important SDP premise is that almost any NLP-type process can be run, focusing on developing skills and attitudes, once the maladaptive schemas have started to change in intensity. Thus, Spiral Dynamics offers not only a strategic measuring tool, but also a chart, a map of transformations, a clear direction of development once the client is freed from many of the startling issues and also some tools, for most advanced knowledge.

 

A unified theory of personality psychology

For several decades, clinical psychology and organizational or positive psychology have insisted on different aspects of the human psyche:

  • interpreting the past (retrospection) vs predicting the future (prospection);

  • problems vs. goals;

  • why vs. how;

  • reflective analysis vs. active experience (exercise);

  • addictions vs virtues;

  • learning vs. growing;

  • abstract vs. concrete;

  • personal vs. professional;

  • body vs. mind;

  • solving vs. developing;

  • issues vs. potential;

  • negative vs. positive;

  • mistakes vs. performance;

  • comprehension vs. action;

  • reparation vs. fine-tuning performance;

  • emotions vs. reason;

  • awareness for insight vs. awareness for decision/action;

  • static vs. dynamic; 

  • treating vs training;

  • obstacles vs resources’

  • linear thinking (Aristotelian) vs. systemic thinking (non-Aristotelian);

  • diffusiveness vs. focus;

  • deliberate slowness vs. witty quickness;

  • cautious desurgency vs. exuberant surgency;

  • relationship vs. task;

  • pain vs. excitement;

  • long term vs. medium/short term;

  • acceptance vs. change;

  • diagnosis vs. enhancement;

  • tense strictness vs. moderate willingness;

  • guiding vs. directing;

  • assessment vs. evaluation;

  • teaching vs. knowing;

  • floating vs. flying

and so on.

 

Differentiating for the future

SDP (Schema Dynamics Programming) is not the only mixed approach available. It may even not be the best. But it works, and it will be tested of how well it works in comparison to any of the separate components to which it is compared.

SDP (Schema Dynamics Programming) is being developed by Ștefan Alexandrescu as a groundbreaking new field with its own applications and is NOT in direct competition with ST (schema therapy), Spiral Dynamics and NLP. It is important that this field would support the development and most especially, the research of these 3 original fields, on which it is grounded. It is not intended as a substitute, but as an alternative, as an enhancer, as a continuation, as it is different from all of the above mentioned.

However, SDP (Schema Dynamics Programming) does clearly enter in competition with:

  • regular psychotherapy

  • coaching

Regular psychotherapists and coaches which lack skills and knowledge in all of these three fields are not accredited, nor advised, nor recommended to clients. As SDP (Schema Dynamics Programming) is a practical field, the researchers are challenged to devise experimental tests and projects to compare the effectiveness of SDP (Schema Dynamics Programming) with either regular psychotherapy and coaching. SDP (Schema Dynamics Programming) is simply different and superior, through techniques, skills and results to regular psychotherapy and coaching. This is not a marketing statement, it is simply a reflection of the reality, based on the obtained. And it’s getting better and better, steady and slowly.

People who are interested in learning these skills are advised to contact Ștefan Alexandrescu directly.

The theoretical component of Schema Dynamics Programming also integrates models from transactional analysis, positive psychology, multiple intelligences, motivational psychology and from landmark specialists such as Jeffrey Young, Clare Graves, Abraham Maslow, Robert Dilts, Anthony Robbins, David McClelland, W. Gerrod Parrot, Robert Plutchick, Brian Tracy (correlating research to be determined) and could be correlated in the future with several other theories. You may download here a synthesis pdf.

Copyright © Ștefan Alexandrescu, 2017. None of the contents of this page can be reproduced without the written express consent of Ștefan Alexandrescu. No exceptions allowed.

If you liked this article, please also read this:

Schema Dynamics Programming with Stefan Alexandrescu (25.12.2016)

How to Live a Perfect Life. Part I. (31.10.2017)

How to Live a Perfect Life, part II. The First 4 Out of 12 Steps, In the Right Order (13.11.2016)

How to Live a Perfect Life, part III. Steps 5-8 Out of 12, In the Right Order (17.11.2016)

How to Live a Perfect Life, Last Part. Steps 9-12 Out of 12, In the Right Order (21.11.2016)

PS: Thanks to Diana Andreea Bădrăgan.

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Schema Dynamics Programming with Stefan Alexandrescu

Posted by Ştefan Alexandrescu on 25/12/2016


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Psychologists have worked for more than 100 years in order to find explanations for how the human mind and personality works, to heal the problems hidden deep inside of us. Personal development fields such as neuro-linguistic programming and transactional analysis have come up with effective and efficient solutions for breakthrough to success. Clinical psychology and development of excellence have been long time separated. Now there is a possibility to unite the best of both world: heal the suffering mind and personality and drive it to success and performance.

Questions for you

  • How would it be for you to find out what holds you back to access your full potential and succeed?

  • How can you confront, heal and solve your traumas?

  • Do you want to find the deep psychological and emotional roots of your problems?

  • Are you ready to confront a profound truth about who you are and and how to get yourself out of your way?

  • Have you implemented powerful changes using fields such as psychotherapy, coaching, personal development consulting but only up to one point?

If your answer to any of these questions is “YES”, then this will interest you.

Please read the following lines, as the world they open up might amazingly transform your life!

A revolutionary approach

My name is Ștefan Alexandrescu and I worked one on one with hundreds of customers since 2004. I have always been interested in finding out why some of the people who came to me for various problems or goals succeeded after just 2-3 sessions and some needed tens of sessions. Now I found out and everything else I knew fitted in like a puzzle.

The key I was missing was offered to my by schema therapy, but I found something even better. Using advanced techniques that I tested and developed in working with clients, I have found out what some might call ”the Holy Grail” of psychology and personal development. I have developed an integrative approach using schema therapy conceptualization and homework, Spiral Dynamics theory, NLP techniques and various correlations with other psychological theories that is unique.

Answers for you

I have so far worked with 6 customers in 2016 and after tens of individual sessions I have come to some amazing results.

  • Do you also want to know and deeply understand how your personality works inside out?

  • Do you also wish to unveil the deepest roots of all your sidetracks that cover your potential?

  • Do you want to set your path straight to a powerful future that will fulfill your goals and talents?

  • Do you also want to embark on a journey confronting all the fears, limiting beliefs, uncovered traumas and inner conflicts in order to break through of them?

  • Do you want to find out what has been keeping you from becoming who you were meant to be?

If your answer to any of these questions is “yes”, then please keep reading, because I am going to present you how and what.

The questionnaires

The first thing you need to do is to complete several tests (psychometric questionnaires), totaling a few hundreds of questions. These will require a lot of concentration and a state of introspection. Based on your answers at those questions, you will have to send me the results and I will calculate your scores, make a few correlations and offer you a free evaluation.

When we meet, either face to face or through Skype, the evaluation must be done with the results open (all the Excel and PDF files), so that you have a full understanding of how the model of interpretation works for you.

The tests I will give you will have identified a detailed list of:

  • your strong points, in skills, talents and personality traits

  • your main weak points, that hold you down from reaching higher goals

  • how these are correlated with your experience and manifestations

These tests work within the correlations between various theories from NLP, transactional analysis, Spiral Dynamics, schema therapy and classical psychology.

The tests can be done for free in a variety of forms. The first consulting session of brief, general interpretation of these profiles is provided fully free of charge, with no strings attached. If you decide that you want to start a journey of deep transformation, a program tailored specifically for your needs awaits you. The program is designed to be flexible and very efficient. It will require time, money and effort, but I promise you it will be one of the best investments you have ever done in your life if you choose to go through it.

You have now the chance to be part of the second wave of clients using this integrated approach between personal development for excellence and clinical psychology. This has already provided amazing results for clients in just a matter of months! Please inquire further if you want to know more about the consulting activity of Stefan Alexandrescu in 2016.

This isn’t for you if:

  • you cannot allocate at least 2 hour/week or 1 hour/week for the consulting session and at least 3-4 times more for homework (journals, letters, goal formulations, lists, questionnaires)

  • you think 50 euros/hour for a program that can change your life in a few months is too much

  • you are afraid to confront yourself, discover yourself in depth

  • you don’t care about what happens to you in the future

  • it’s OK to postpone your goals, happiness, fulfillment or healing time and again

  • you don’t have the discipline to invest the efforts into your development

with the likely results that:

  • you will try to fix surface issues (effects) which will appear in your life in various ways, with little chance to approach the deep roots

  • you will try to fix behaviors (effects) in stead of beliefs, emotions and experiences (causes)

  • the problems will cost you more than solving them

  • feel this sounds great, but you don’t have a few hours to complete the questionnaires

This is a difficult and challenging process. Not everyone is up for it. Are you ready? I can promise you this:

  • you will unveil painful memories

  • you will understand the mechanisms of faulty behaviors that endanger your life as you know it

  • you will experience intense negative emotions

  • you will feel disappointed towards people in your life

  • you might try to find excuses to interrupt the process

with the likely effect that in the end:

  • you will have deep insights

  • you will be able to choose in the present what is appropriate for you

  • you will understand and accept yourself and others

  • you will experience the power of forgiveness

  • you will train the skills you need to perform

  • you will become a better parent

  • you will be able to heal deep wounds in the past that restrain you from being yourself.

Start now!

The first steps are to get in touch with me, receive the questionnaires, complete them, let me score them and receive your free evaluation!

Find out more! Get in touch NOW! This is for you!

Ștefan Alexandrescu

0040 729 034 883

stefan [dot] alexandrescu [at] yahoo ]dot] com

Copyright © Ștefan Alexandrescu, 2016

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Benefits of Forgiveness

Posted by Ştefan Alexandrescu on 27/04/2012

We are all aware of the preached necessity of forgiving. Starting from a personal development material I got from a training concerning the benefits of forgiveness, I asked myself the following questions:

  1. which are the causes of forgiveness? (what determines people to forgive?)
  2. what are the benefits of forgiveness?
  3. what are the barriers in forgiving?

I intend to share with you the results of 24 researches in this field.

 

1. what supports forgiveness?

  • religious commitment
  • low levels of neuroticism
  • the level of interactivity within the community (social network involvement)
  • the offender and the victim’s willingness to consider a resolution
  • the victim’s perception of change in the offender’s behavior
  • personal values
  • the degree of seriousness of the offense
  • identification of forgiveness-related concepts
  • low hostility
  • evidence more adaptive coping in terms of the forgiveness categories of self, other, and situations (details here [en,pdf])
  • psychotherapy

     

2. what are the benefits of forgiveness?

  • Forgiveness appears to free mental and/or emotional energy that helps people sustain good performance, even on tasks completely unrelated to the forgiveness situation. (details here [en,pdf])
  • reduces anxiety, anger, depression,
  • reduces illness symptoms, stress & fatigue
  • improves perspective taking
  • increases self-esteem
  • self-control
  • it is currently better understood in relation to pro-social behavior than religion.(details here [en,pdf])
  • prevents future violence
  • the first study to look at how forgiveness improves physical health discovered that when people think about forgiving an offender it leads to improved functioning in their cardiovascular and nervous systems (Van Oyen, C. Witvilet, T.E. Ludwig and K. L. Vander Lann, “Granting Forgiveness or Harboring Grudges: Implications for Emotions, Physiology and Health,” Psychological Science no. 12 (2001):117-23)

 

3. what are the barriers in forgiving? (other findings from Roy F. Baumeister’s research with collaborators)

  • the fear of being hurt again
  • a strong sense of narcissistic entitlement- that is, those who believe that they deserve a lot of good things and are highly invested in collecting all that they deserve
  • self-righteousness, in which people cannot see their own potential for misdeeds
  • lack of preparedness to be responsive and to seek pathways of reconciliation and resolution   (details here or here [en,pdf])

     

The results of these researches are objective. I have not taken into consideration for this article the spiritual and personal development advantages, but merely the psychological aspects of forgiveness.

PS: At the original date when I published this article, all the 24 research papers I have referred to at the beginning of the article were available on a website which now does not exist anymore. I have tried to reconstitute some of the links by the names and years of the authors involved, but unfortunately, I have only partially succeeded.

 

Posted in The Art of Respecting Others | Tagged: , , | 6 Comments »

Rich Item Conceptualization.

Posted by Ştefan Alexandrescu on 26/03/2012

Here I gave you some examples of items. I have proven how they don’t work here. This article is part IV from the series of articles in English about survey-type research with focus on quantitative measures. Please also consider this list of articles in Romanian about research.

In order to attain the same goal in the second context, let’s say we would have these items in stead of the first:

    1. Do you experience any kind of distress at work, due to other people? [measures weather there is a problem or not]

  1. Yes

  2. No

If the answer is “no”, skip right to question nr. 6.

    1. How often do you experience this distress? [measures frequency]

a) 2-3 times a day

b) daily

c) 2-3 times a week

d) weekly

e) 2-3 times a month

f) once a month or even more rare

3. How does the intensity of this distress affects you and your work? [measures intensity]

a) I feel suffocated by it

b) My work is suffocated by it

c) My work is affected by it

d) My work is just slightly delayed by it

e) I can handle it most of the times

f) It doesn’t have a great, if any effect on my work or on myself.

4. Who, from your office, do you think contributes to / influences the distress? (You can pick one or more choices) [measures cause]

a) the boss

b) my superviser

c) colleagues I work with

d) colleagues in the office I do not work with

e) collaborators / people I delegate tasks to

f) Janitors, cleaning personnel, and other similar

5. When does the distress produces? [measures period and space specific to distress related to the office work]

a) in the working time, in the morning

b) in the working time, in the afternoon

c) in the working time, in the evening

d) during coffee breaks

e) during the lunch break

f) after the working time finishes / outside the working space

Author’s experience in questionnaire design. The Author has worked within a research group developing organizational evaluation tools. Since November 2006 to June 2007, he contributed to five questionnaire designs in students’ groups. Also, he has designed the first psychological questionnaire for application in political branding using NLP (Iaşi, 2004), for which project he was awarded the first prize at the students’ contest EconomMix in 2005, the management-marketing section.

Besides that, he has designed psychological questionnaires for own researches on parental education (2005), self-esteem (2007, 2009, 2011), insurance (2009), memory (2009), he enhanced an evaluation questionnaire for career consulting (2008).

The author can be contacted for questionnaire design consulting services at artis_consulting.training [at] yahoo [dot] com


Posted in Analytic & Critic Vision Over... | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

The Questionnaire Design for Surveys, part III

Posted by Ştefan Alexandrescu on 21/03/2012

This article is a follow-up to this one and it refers to the questions presented as an example here:

 Let’s take it step by step. First of all, methodologically. The first question uses a scale with an even number, which requires the responder to mark only one answer. The second item presents an odd number of choices out of which one, several or all can be picked by the responder. This creates confusion, because it requires the responder to use a different rule for answering question 2 from the rule use to answer question 1. No matter how well you explain, it is subject to mistake. You must eliminate these mistakes, out of respect for your work, for your personal branding as a compenetent, non-time waster professional, for the responsibility which you have towards providing actionable intelligence and for the responders’ intellectual effort.

The second question uses an unclear scale for choices, which combined with the words used in the item may create confusion.

If it’s a scale, it must be from white to black, from dark to light, from alpha to omega. You cannot play around with the responders’ perception. If the first choice is “daily”, the other choices may be “2-3 times a week”, “weekly”, “2-3 times a month”, “about once a month”, “3-4 times a year” “Yearly”.

“Pretty often “is a poor choice because what is “pretty often” for someone can be very different than what is “pretty often” for someone else. It could range in the individual perception from once a month to twice a day to all the time. Don’t use relative language. Use precise words when you measure frequency or intensity. And if you want both frequency and intensity for example, measure them with different items. Yes, that means putting the same questions again, with similar scales.

“Sometimes” is a different item for measuring frequency than “pretty often”, but it may be similar. You may use these terms together in rather a six points scale like “never”, “rarely”, “sometimes”, “pretty often” “very often”, “always”. You can also cut the extremes and have it a four points scale, conditioned that the rest of the items besides “pretty often” and “sometimes” are “rarely” and “very often”. I myself I wouldn’t use this kind of vague terms, but they are not wrong.

Let’s take a look at the first words of the item: “How often do you usually”, continued with option d), “rarely”. So the question the responder has to ask himself in order to understand what the item means in this case is: “How often do I usually rarely… ? Do I rarely often usually… ?”. It’s a non-sense. Use logic. If you aren’t used to logical thinking, learn it or drop human resources, NOW.

Another issue with the first question is the word “feel”. It’s a tricky word to use in a subjective description. In general, people are already very subjective when completing a questionnaire. Especially when you measure subjective experience of frequency, it is rather preferable to use moderate, neutral words. Besides, some people could relate more to seeing or hearing than to feeling. In formulating an item, you must respect the reality that people have different perception styles which you have to respect in order to speak on their own language. For these two reasons, it is recommendable to use the word “find” in stead of “feel”. It appears to describe a more objective experience, but in reality the subjectivity comes from the term “tension”. When using subjective nouns in items, don’t enhance it by adding subjective verbs to them. “Find” is more objective than “feel”. Pay attention to the choice of words. “If you ask wrong questions, you will get wrong answers” (3).

“When starting work” describes an unclear event. It could mean the minute entering the building, it could mean the moment actually starting doing work (after coffee, talking to the boss or a morning conference), or it could mean coming back to work after the meal. To which moment does the researcher refer?

Another thing to pay attention is that the first question refers to “working with colleagues”, when the second questions also refers to other departments or family. When you want to evaluate the organizational environment in a specific office, you focus your questions in such a manner to discover which are the elements inside the system not working. If the researcher wants to find out also the external elements, than item 1 must be restated, in order to integrate the external causes. Not to mention there is a high difference in perception weather the responder has a internal locus of control or an external locus of control in context of working in that specific environment.

The first question uses the term “tension”, the second question uses the term “pressure”. Although they may be synonyms, if you used one term for the first item, then you must also use it in the second item, too. Some people might relate differently to “tension” than to “pressure”, not to mention that “tension” is often perceived as internal, and “pressure” external. It’s not a rule, but there are subtilties to which you have to pay attention.

The second question is wrong for the beginning. If the purpose is to find the cause of a distress, you must first consider all the reasons of the distress. Let’s say, for example, that an employee has a good chair at his own office, but when joining others to work on a common project, the table around which they sit has wrong chairs for his back. The person feels psysical tension, but none of the variants are responsible for that. It’s the chair. It’s not someone’s fault, it’s something. So define well what you want to measure and what words you use for it.

Please also consider this list of articles in Romanian about research.

Author’s experience in questionnaire design. The Author has worked within a research group developing organizational evaluation tools. Since November 2006 to June 2007, he contributed to five questionnaire designs in students’ groups. Also, he has designed the first psychological questionnaire for application in political branding using NLP (Iaşi, 2004), for which project he was awarded the first prize at the students’ contest EconomMix in 2005, the management-marketing section.

Besides that, he has designed psychological questionnaires for own researches on parental education (2005), self-esteem (2007, 2009, 2011), insurance (2009), memory (2009), he enhanced an evaluation questionnaire for career consulting (2008).

The author can be contacted for questionnaire design consulting services at artis_consulting.training [at] yahoo [dot] com

Posted in Analytic & Critic Vision Over... | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

The Questionnaire Design for Surveys, part II

Posted by Ştefan Alexandrescu on 15/03/2012

Once defined the public, step yourself into their shoes. Create items in such a manner that your responder knows what to answer to very clearly. Use words (s)he will understand. For example, if you want to test someone’s knowledge on pricing in marketing, it’s preferable to ask: “How do you do decide pricing on a product?” rather then “What would be your elaborate strategy for recommending a pricing scheme according to the market, organizational requirements and financial parameters?”. Think simple. Let your questions to clearly state what you desire from that person. Before doing pretesting, use your common sense. What would you answer to that question, if you were asked as a responder? That is the most important frame of mind to consider when doing a questionnaire, because sometimes people are creating questionnaires without even having a clear purpose of what they want to know.

What would be the questions to ask yourself before formulating any items?

  • What is the final structure in which I am going to prelucrate the answer to this question?

  • How am I going to use the specific information from this question?

  • How will I correlate the answer from this item with answers to other items? How can I formulate questions in such a manner to help find better what I want?

  • What is the best items type I can use to structure this question?

  • What would be a better question to find out the same answer I’m going after?

Another common sense thing to consider is use logic when creating items.

Let’s say you formulate an item with multiple choice, addressed to present employees, with only one correct answer, for the purpose of annually evaluating organizational environment in an office with 40 people. This item is one of those which is designed into the subjective individual perception over group behavior category.

Poor item conceptualization

1. How often do you usually feel tension at work around the colleagues when starting to work?

  1. daily

  2. pretty often

  3. sometimes

  4. rarely

2. To who do you attribute this pressure?

  1. to the boss

  2. to the colleagues

  3. to other departments

  4. to the work itself

  5. to the family

Can these items be functional? Just in appearance. The truth is these are some very poorly conceived items.

What’s poor in these two linked items?

Please also consider this list of articles in Romanian about research.

Author’s experience in questionnaire design. The Author has worked within a research group developing organizational evaluation tools. Since November 2006 to June 2007, he contributed to five questionnaire designs in students’ groups. Also, he has designed the first psychological questionnaire for application in political branding using NLP (Iaşi, 2004), for which project he was awarded the first prize at the students’ contest EconomMix in 2005, the management-marketing section.

Besides that, he has designed psychological questionnaires for own researches on parental education (2005), self-esteem (2007, 2009, 2011), insurance (2009), memory (2009), he enhanced an evaluation questionnaire for career consulting (2008).

The author can be contacted for questionnaire design consulting services at artis_consulting.training [at] yahoo [dot] com

Posted in Analytic & Critic Vision Over... | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

The Questionnaire Design for Surveys, part I

Posted by Ştefan Alexandrescu on 11/03/2012

Motto: „How often do you prefer not to think hard about the questions you ask?

a) Always b) In Most Cases c) Sometimes d) Soft

There’s a way of doing the right things in the right way. Fortunately for me, I’ve been to a good school for formulating items in questionnaire design and I must tell you the best way for being ethical about this is to do it the right way. There is no room for creativity in the beginning. If you want to explore research methodology, I congratulate you, but chances are, if you’re not a researcher by profession, you won’t choose to do that. Keep your creativity for formulating items. I will guide you through the important things to consider while doing this process.

First of all, any questionnaire, weather psychological or for marketing, has a niche. A target, well defined, like the advertising agencies do it. As a personal note, I think the most advanced profiling system is being done by Leo Burnett (excepting, of course some of the branding agencies, which might have more advanced tools).

Which are the goals of the questionnaire? Depending on what you want to find out, you can have one or more goals. But keep in mind a questionnaire cannot cover all the possible things you would be interested in. Once, a corporate HR manager came to me and she told me she wanted an instrument to measure job performance of present employees and to evaluate their potential to attaining higher positions in the company. I told her she had to decide. There is a structure for putting questions for evaluating one’s potential and there is another structure for evaluating present performance. Present performance is evaluated through effectiveness in relation to the job description, to the objective results and to the peers and potential evaluation is something rather closer to job specification and it requires a psychological approach in questionnaire design.

This may seem natural, but, amazingly, over 90 % of the Romanian recruiters which design an interview questionnaire for hiring don’t know what the want to find out (1). They simply ask classical questions, hoping to hit something relevant. It’s like Ionuţ Ciurea (2) told me once, on the amateurism of beginners: “If you asked a lot of questions, it’s impossible not to hit something”.

Once you have chosen the goals of the questionnaire, decide what type of questions will you use.

  • Will it be a qualitative research or a quantitative research? Will it be mixed?

  • What is the infrastructure for registering answers in a database? Will you choose Excel, Open Office, SPSS, LISREL, or another program?

  • Will the items be opened or on choice?

  • Do you prefer multiple choice items or bipolar items?

  • Will you use a scale?

  • Will you use a Likert scale in 5 or in 7 grades / points?

  • Will you use an odd number of grades to the scale or will it be even?

  • Why do you prefer to use an odd number, or an even number , for the grades to the scale?

This is not a manual in research, but you should have answers to all of these questions before beginning. This is not rocket science. It’s common-sense before doing a questionnaire. If you don’t know the answers to these questions, DROP THE QUESTIONNAIRE!!! Learn how to do it or give it to someone else. If you do not, chances are you’re going to waste the organization’s time and the responders also. People are not obligated to support your learning process. It’s tough, but that’s how it is.

Please also consider this list of articles in Romanian about research.

Author’s experience in questionnaire design. The Author has worked within a research group developing organizational evaluation tools. Since November 2006 to June 2007, he contributed to five questionnaire designs in students’ groups. Also, he has designed the first psychological questionnaire for application in political branding using NLP (Iaşi, 2004), for which project he was awarded the first prize at the students’ contest EconomMix in 2005, the management-marketing section.

Besides that, he has designed psychological questionnaires for own researches on parental education (2005), self-esteem (2007, 2009, 2011), insurance (2009), memory (2009), he enhanced an evaluation questionnaire for career consulting (2008).

The author can be contacted for questionnaire design consulting services at artis_consulting.training [at] yahoo [dot] com


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Customer Satisfaction in Modern Society

Posted by Ştefan Alexandrescu on 27/06/2011

An investigation of the cross-national determinants of customer satisfaction”, by Forrest V. Morgeson III, Sunil Mithas, Timothy L. Keiningham andLerzan Aksoy. Published by Academy of Marketing Science, oct. 2010. Retrieved from Springer Link, nov. 2010

Original Abstract of the Thesis

Many multinational corporations have implemented cross-national satisfaction measurement programs for tracking and benchmarking the satisfaction of their customers across their various markets. These companies measure satisfaction with the goal of maximizing customer loyalty and the financial benefits associated with loyalty.

However, existing research comparing consumer satisfaction across nations is limited, with the few existing studies examining only a small number of countries or predictors of satisfaction, or a small group of consumers within a particular economic sector. To expand our knowledge of the determinants of cross-national variation in customer satisfaction, we study three sets of factors: cultural, socioeconomic and political-economic. We utilize a unique sample of cross-industry satisfaction data from 19 nations, including nearly 257,000 interviews of consumers. Consistent with our hypotheses, we find that consumers in traditional societies have higher levels of satisfaction than those in secular-rational societies. Likewise, consumers in self-expressive societies have higher levels of customer satisfaction than those in societies with survival values. We also find that literacy rate, trade freedom, and business freedom have a positive effect on customer satisfaction while per capita gross domestic product has a negative effect on customer satisfaction. We discuss the implications of these findings for policymakers, multinational corporations,and researchers.

Summary by Ştefan Alexandrescu

48 % of the revenus of S&P 500 Companies in 2008 came from abroad. The share of international profits has risen from 5 % during the ’60s to over 25 % in 2008. The purpose of this paper is to analyse national-level predictors, correlated to cross-national variation in satisfaction. Its purpose is to find out which are the differences which make the difference for the transnational companies in local markets.

Hypothesis

Consumers in traditional societies have higher levels of satisfaction than those in secular-rational societies. Consumers in self-expressive societies have higher levels of customer satisfaction than those in societies with survival values. Each of the last two pairs are dichotomous. As the survivalistic societies evolve into self-expressive ones, they will experience greater satisfaction with the products and services.

Literacy rate, trade freedom, and business freedom have a positive effect on customer satisfaction while per capita gross domestic product has a negative effect on customer satisfaction.

Consumers in societies with fewer barriers to free trade and international commerce will express greater satisfaction with the goods and services they have experienced. Consumers in societies with fewer barriers to internal business development will express greater satisfaction with the goods they have experienced.

It is believed that more satisfied consumers will be more loyal to the brand and therefore, generate higher incomes and higher profits.

Methodology

To cover all the indexes necessary for the research, the author has used for the cultural and socioeconomis variables WVS (World Values Survey), for the different industries across boders the NAICS, for the gross domestic product per capita, CIA World Factbook and the Index of Economic Freedom from the Heritage Foundation.

Results

The results were then analysed through a multiple-level bootstrat, once by countries and once by NAICS index. The data confirms all hypothesis are correct. All the parameters measured have been proved significant as predictors. Directions of further study are: the distinction between satisfaction provided by private sector and satisfaction provided by public sector; particular studies on a certain product.

Impressions and opinions

The research is a good example of how to create a pilot-instrument of research, for further use to the corporations. Through the directions in research in the final part, the authors suggest they have been keeping an eye open for practical companies.

The research is complex, and the macroeconomic perspective it offers provides reliable data in decision making. The methodology is impressive and the reporting of data inspiring. 

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