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SOAN 2120 Mar.19.docx

Sociology and Anthropology
Course Code
SOAN 2120
Scott Schau

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March. 19 2012
Survey Methods
-send out a letter to ppl, get them to fill it out and send it back
-include letter of encouragement to non-respondents
-can also be ones you have ppl sit w/researcher present [i.e. handing out surveys in a mall]
-want at least a 50% response rate [at this point you introduce bias b/c half of your sample hasn’t
PRO’S- not too costly, no training/hiring of interviewers, ppl might feel more comfortable giving truthful
responses, no interviewer influence, more time to get well thought out answers
CON’S-low response rate, only those interested will respond, cannot answer any questions respondents
might have, participants might get confused
phone survey
-very common, interviewers call homes from a list of directories and ask a sample of questions
PRO’s-a little more costly but has higher response rate, respondents are more likely to give truthful
answers over the phone than in person, greater collection of information, can have supervisor on site so
ppl can ask questions
CON’S-limited to population w/phones, limited to those in the phone book, respondents might be
suspicious of ppl who talk on the phone [telemarketers], ppl can hang up at any time, more answering
machines or call-display
web survey
-more common over time, a respondent is directed to a site to answer questions
-might send a card that tells them what website to go to and have a code they can enter to answer the
PRO’s-one of the most multi-media sources [can give videos, audio etc.], bigger range of tools available
to use, fast responses, ppl might feel more comfortable giving answers to difficult questions
CON’S-can be low response rate, limited to ppl w/access to computers, can be an unrepresented
face-to-face interview
-researchers send an interviewer to gain information in person
PRO’S-high response rate high of 80-90%], going to get fully responded answers, decrease number of “I
don’t knows”, ppl can ask questions if they are confused, can reach a population that doesn’t have a set
residence , can be illiteracy issues [ppl can speak well but can’t read well], interviewer can also observe
CON’S-time consuming, interviewers require training, the way the interview looks may cause bias
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