I'm about to have data from intercept surveys conducted in parks. The goal of the survey is to determine which characteristics of parks users find most important to park quality (do they care a lot about safety, a little about the facilities, and not at all about who else is there?).
We've designed a survey with open-ended questions to answer this question. The current plan is to take down the responses, and then, once we have them, group them into categories (safety, facilities, social environment, accessibility, etc).
For example, one question on the survey asks the user why they came to park.
Each user's response (we're allowing them to list as many reasons as they like, but are asking for primary reasons first, then secondary reasons and so on) will then be associated with some field coding. For one user it might be, say, facilities and park aesthetics, for another it might be easy access. We'll also have some demographic data (age, sex, ethnicity, activity at the park) for each user.
Question 1: We want to determine which of the categories is most important to users, and if possible, by how much. I've never done any categorical data analysis, and I have no idea what to do here. For some questions we're just going to have counts: 16 people came for facilities, 10 for open spaces, etc.
Question 2: A separate series of questions asks users to categorize park quality on a Likert-like scale (low to high quality), and also to rate sub-components of park quality in the same way (quality of facilities, from low to high, and so on). We want to determine which predictors have the largest effect on perceived park quality here as well.
I want to know what type of models to fit to our data, and why.
I'm presuming we want some categorical analogue of regression. I want to pick up theoretical underpinnings, learn how to fit models in R, and also how to perform diagnostics on them.
Once I've decided on the appropriate analysis and have picked up the necessary background, I'd like to pre-register my data analysis plan. I've never done this before and am curious what the convention is for this.
Some details about the sample of parks: the city Parks and Recreation department has selected 10 parks for us to visit. Their park selection criteria is not entirely known, but I think they want to visit some well developed and some under developed parks. There are five pairs of parks that the Parks department thinks are comparable. In each pair of parks, one has recently undergone renovation, and the other hasn't.
I have taken a first course in math-stat, a course on linear regression, and am halfway through a course on experimental design/ANOVA/EM/Bootstrap. I have some pure math, multi, lin-alg and optimization background as well. I have some limited experience in R as well.