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What Is Survey Research? - Definition, Methods & Types

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Questionnaires do not provide the freedom to ask follow-up questions to explore the answers of the respondents, but interviews do.

An interview includes two persons - the researcher as the interviewer, and the respondent as the interviewee. There are several survey methods that utilize interviews. These are the personal or face-to-face interview, the phone interview , and more recently, the online interview.

The span of time needed to complete the survey brings us to the two different types of surveys: Collecting information from the respondents at a single period in time uses the cross-sectional type of survey. Cross-sectional surveys usually utilize questionnaires to ask about a particular topic at one point in time. Sometimes, cross-sectional surveys are used to identify the relationship between two variables , as in a comparative study.

An example of this is administering a cross-sectional survey about the relationship of peer pressure and cigarette smoking among teenagers as of May When the researcher attempts to gather information over a period of time or from one point in time up to another, he is doing a longitudinal survey. The aim of longitudinal surveys is to collect data and examine the changes in the data gathered.

Longitudinal surveys are used in cohort studies , panel studies and trend studies. Check out our quiz-page with tests about:. Sarah Mae Sincero Sep 21, Retrieved Sep 14, from Explorable. The text in this article is licensed under the Creative Commons-License Attribution 4.

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For example, in a face-to-face interview, it is difficult and expensive to survey households across the nation. Instead, researchers will randomly select geographic areas for example, counties , then randomly select households within these areas. This creates a cluster sample, in which respondents are clustered together geographically. For example, a researcher may want to compare survey responses of African-Americans and Caucasians. To ensure that there are enough Afrian-Americans in the survey, the researcher will first identify the African-Americans in the population and then randomly select a sample of African-Americans.

Measurement error is the difference between the target population's characteristics and the measurement of these characteristics in a survey.

There are two types of measurement error: For example, a researcher may administer a survey about marital happiness. However, some respondents may have had a fight with their spouse the evening prior to the survey, while other respondents' spouses may have cooked the respondent's favorite meal.

The survey responses will be affected by the random day on which the respondents were chosen to participate in the study. With random error, the positive and negative influences on the survey measure balance out.

Respondents should give informed consent before participating in a survey. In order for respondents to give informed consent,.

It is absolutely imperative that researchers keep respondents' identities confidential. To ensure confidentiality, researchers should not link respondents' identifiers to their survey responses when using data. Common identifiers include names, social security numbers, addresses, and telephone numbers.

Anonymity is an even stronger safeguard of respondent privacy. If a researcher assures anonymity, it means that the researcher is unable to link respondents' names to their surveys. Anonymity Confidentiality Informed Consent. Survey sampling is particularly useful when the population of interest is very large or dispersed across a large geographic area. Please enable JavaScript in your browser. JavasScript is required to use the core functionality of this site including searching, downloading data, and depositing data.

There are two key features of survey research: Questionnaires -- a predefined series of questions used to collect information from individuals Sampling -- a technique in which a subgroup of the population is selected to answer the survey questions; the information collected can be generalized to the entire population of interest.

Closed-Ended Questions The respondents are given a list of predetermined responses from which to choose their answer The list of responses should include every possible response and the meaning of the responses should not overlap An example of a close-ended survey question would be, "Please rate how strongly you agree or disagree with the following statement: Sensitive questions, such as questions about income, drug use, or sexual activity, should be put at the end of the survey.

This allows the researcher to establish trust before asking questions that might embarrass respondents. Researchers also recommend putting routine questions, such as age, gender, and marital status, at the end of the questionnaire Double-barreled questions, which ask two questions in one, should never be used in a survey. An example of a double barreled question is, "Please rate how strongly you agree or disagree with the following statement: Surveys can be admininistered in three ways:


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The essence of survey method can be explained as “questioning individuals on a topic or topics and then describing their responses”.In business studies survey method of primary data collection is used in order to test concepts, reflect attitude of people, establish the level of customer satisfaction, conduct segmentation research and a set of other .

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Survey research is one of the most important areas of measurement in applied social research. The broad area of survey research encompasses any measurement procedures that involve asking questions of respondents.

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This third definition of survey is a specific type of survey research. Here are the three specific techniques of survey research: Questionnaires - a series of written questions a participant answers. Survey research is a commonly used method of collecting information about a population of interest. There are many different types of surveys, several ways to administer them, and many methods of sampling.

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In survey research, independent and dependent variables are used to define the scope of study, but cannot be explicitly controlled by the researcher. Before conducting the survey. Mar 01,  · Survey research is defined as "the collection of information from a sample of individuals through their responses to questions" (Check & Schutt, , p. ). This type of research allows for a variety of methods to recruit participants, collect data, and utilize various methods of instrumentation.