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Difference in time use chart between Questionnaire A and Questionnaire B

The Survey on Time Use and Leisure Activities uses two types of questionnaire forms (Questionnaire A and Questionnaire B).Each questionnaire form has a time use chart.

Questionnaire A adopts a pre-coding method, while Questionnaire B adopts an after-coding method.

The difference between the two methods is explained as follows.

 Pre-coding

The pre-coding method means a format to ask questions based on predetermined categories in the questionnaire form. It is also called a closed-ended question method.


The Survey on Time Use and Leisure Activities conducted by the Statistics Bureau has adopted this method since the start of the survey in 1976 with regard to survey items to grasp the distribution of time use during 24 hours.

 

Questionnaire A for the 2011 survey uses a form on which the kinds of activities (20 categories) have already been printed. Each household member is requested to classify his/her own activities, and draw a line in the column for the relevant activity parallel to the time division axis (see the example shown below).

Example of pre-coding method questionnaire form
Example of pre-coding method questionnaire form
* Excerpt from “Questionnaire A” of the 2011 Survey on Time Use and Leisure Activities

 After-coding
The after-coding method means a format to allow a respondent to write answers freely on a questionnaire form as if he/she were writing a diary. For each activity specified on the form, a classification code will be provided based on predetermined classification criteria when summarizing questionnaire data. It is also called an open-ended question method.

In addition to the existing pre-coding questionnaire form (Questionnaire A), the Survey on Time Use and Leisure Activities first adopted an after-coding questionnaire form as Questionnaire B in 2001, which allows each household member to specify the kinds of activity freely for the relevant time division (see the example shown below).

Example of after-coding method questionnaire form

Example of after-coding method questionnaire form
* Excerpt from “Questionnaire B” of the 2011 Survey on Time Use and Leisure Activities

The pre-coding method adopted for Questionnaire A, which requires less processes for entry, review and classification/rating than the after-coding method, makes it possible to conduct surveys based on a large sample, and to summarize data by region and attribute in detail, as well as to publish the survey results quickly. Also, because this method has been adopted since the start of the survey, it is possible to compare data with past survey results in chronological order.

On the other hand, the after-coding method adopted for Questionnaire B, which enables us to define more detailed categories than the pre-coding method, makes it possible to understand detailed time use, such as for housework. Also, because many foreign countries have adopted this after-coding method, it is possible to compare data on time use with those of foreign countries.

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