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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: Through the mail Advantage: Low response rate By telephone Advantages: Higher response rates; responses can be gathered more quickly Disadvantage: More expensive than mail surveys Face-to-face Advantages: Highest response rates; better suited to collecting complex information Disadvantage: Very expensive Visit the following website for more information about survey administration: What is a Survey?

Glossary terms related to survey administration: Four sampling techniques are described here: Simple Random Sampling Simple random sampling is the most basic form of sampling Every member of the population has an equal chance of being selected This sampling process is similar to a lottery: In this procedure, telephone numbers are generated by a computer at random and called to identify individuals to participate in the survey Cluster Sampling Cluster sampling is generally used when it is geographically impossible to undertake a simple random sample Cluster sampling requires that adjustments be made in statistical analyses For example, in a face-to-face interview, it is difficult and expensive to survey households across the nation.

Stratified Sampling Stratified samples are used when a researcher wants to ensure that there are enough respondents with certain characteristics in the sample The researcher first identifies the people in the population who have the desired characteristics, then randomly selects a sample of them Stratified sampling requires that adjustments be made in statistical analyses For example, a researcher may want to compare survey responses of African-Americans and Caucasians.

Nonrandom Sampling Common nonrandom sampling techniques include convenience sampling and snowball sampling Nonrandom samples cannot be generalized to the population of interest.

Consequently, it is problematic to make inferences about the population In survey research, random, cluster, or stratified samples are preferable Visit the following websites for more information about sampling procedures: Systematic Error Systematic error is more serious than random error Occurs when the survey responses are systematically different from the target population responses For example, if a researcher only surveyed individuals who answered their phone between 9 and 5, Monday through Friday, the survey results would be biased toward individuals who are unemployed Sources of bias include Nonobservational error -- Individuals in the target population are systematically excluded from the sample, such as in the example above Observational error -- When respondents systematically answer surveys question incorrectly.

For example, surveys that ask respondents how much they weigh will probably underestimate the population's weight because respondents are likely to underreport their weight Random Error Random error is an expected part of survey research, and statistical techniques are designed to account for this sort of measurement error Occurs because of natural and uncontrollable variations in the survey process, i.

Visit the following website for more information about measurement error: Reducing Measurement Error Glossary terms related to measurement error: Informed Consent Respondents should give informed consent before participating in a survey. In order for respondents to give informed consent, The researcher must inform the respondents of the study's purpose, content, duration, and potential risks and benefits The researcher must inform the respondents that they do not have to answer all the survey questions The researcher must inform the resondents that they can stop participating in the study at any point Confidentiality and Anonymity It is absolutely imperative that researchers keep respondents' identities confidential.

Let's say you, as a researcher, are interested in pet ownership and people's views on it. If you use questionnaires, you will sit down and write up some questions that you need answers to. This can go in several ways:. Questionnaires aren't all sunshine and happy times, though. There are some weak points that need to be addressed.

Get access risk-free for 30 days, just create an account. The second option, interviews, is very much like an in-person job interview. One person sits across from the other and asks questions. The researcher will record what is being said, usually with a tape recorder or video camera, so that the conversation can be reviewed later.

Like all studies, interviews have several strengths and weaknesses. Some of the strengths include:. The third option, surveys, is where you go out and talk to people on the street. It kind of combines the two previous techniques. Here you write up shorter questions, like those that might be in a questionnaire, and then you go out and find people to talk to on the street. You get some of the interaction of the interview, but you likely aren't looking for something as in-depth.

Some of the strengths of the survey technique are:. A survey is defined as brief interviews and discussions with individuals about a specific topic. There are several types of surveys, and they should be selected based on what is best for your study. The three primary types of surveys are:. To unlock this lesson you must be a Study. Did you know… We have over college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1, colleges and universities.

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Explore over 4, video courses. Find a degree that fits your goals. What Is Survey Research? We will also go over the strengths and weaknesses of each type of survey. Try it risk-free for 30 days.

An error occurred trying to load this video. Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support. You must create an account to continue watching. Register to view this lesson Are you a student or a teacher? I am a student I am a teacher. What teachers are saying about Study. Response Styles of Surveys: Are you still watching? Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds.

Add to Add to Add to. Want to watch this again later? Surveys, Interviews, and Case Studies. Conducting Surveys and Interviews: Observational Research in Marketing: The True Experimental Research Design. What is Historical Research? What is Sampling in Research? What is Altruism in Social Psychology? Selecting a Problem to Research. Experimental Research in Psychology: Research Methods in Psychology: Research Methods in Psychology for Teachers: Information Systems and Computer Applications.

Devin Kowalczyk Devin has taught psychology and has a master's degree in clinical forensic psychology. This lesson explores the ways a researcher may employ the types of surveys used in research. Here are the three specific techniques of survey research: Questionnaires - a series of written questions a participant answers. Interviews - questions posed to an individual to obtain information about him or her. This type of survey is like a job interview, with one person asking another a load of questions.

Surveys - brief interviews and discussions with individuals about a specific topic. Yes, survey is also a specific type of survey, to make things even more confusing. A survey is a quick interview, with the surveyor asking only a few questions. Using Surveys So, why are those people hanging around train stations and other public places?

Questionnaires If you use questionnaires, you will sit down and write up some questions that you need answers to.

This can go in several ways: Open ended questions where the participant fills in the answer with their thoughts. For example, 'What do you think of pet ownership? Multiple-choice questions allow for statistical analysis such as, 'Do you think pet ownership is a good thing for people - agree, neutral, or disagree.

Using questionnaires allows a researcher to utilize several strengths. It allows for minimal contact between researcher and participant. Multiple avenues, such as handing them out in person, using snail mail, email, and online survey engines, can be used. Participants' answers are readily recorded on the forms. Try it risk-free No obligation, cancel anytime. Want to learn more?

Select a subject to preview related courses: The questions and instructions must be written extremely clearly or participants will answer in incorrect ways. There is little ensuring participants finish a survey, meaning they may return it half finished and therefore useless. The cost of printing out hundreds of questionnaires can quickly become very expensive.

Interviews The second option, interviews, is very much like an in-person job interview. Some of the strengths include: The ability to obtain in-depth information about the participant. Discussion can result in additional information that was not expected.

By controlling the interview, fewer unusable interviews are likely to occur. Some of the weaknesses are: It is the most time consuming of all the survey techniques. Recording difficulties are often not caught until after the interview. It is the most difficult type of survey to find participants for. Surveys The third option, surveys, is where you go out and talk to people on the street. Some of the strengths of the survey technique are: Useful for extroverted or outgoing researchers.

You are able to collect additional information from talking to participants. Some of the weaknesses include: There is a reliance on people to answer your questions.

There is more time investment with each person than with a questionnaire. Lesson Summary A survey is defined as brief interviews and discussions with individuals about a specific topic. The three primary types of surveys are: Interviews - questions posed to an individual to obtain information about the individual. Learning Outcomes Following your completion of this lesson, you should be able to:


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- Definition, Methods & Types This lesson explores the ways a researcher may employ the types of surveys used in research. We will also go over the strengths and weaknesses of each type of survey.

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Survey method pursues two main purposes: Describing certain aspects or characteristics of population and/or; Testing hypotheses about nature of relationships within a population. Survey method can be broadly divided into three categories: mail survey, telephone survey and personal interview.

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Survey Research 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. 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 .

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The survey is a non-experimental, descriptive research method. Surveys can be useful when a researcher wants to collect data on phenomena that cannot be .