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Survey Research

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Sociology 2206A/B
Ryan Broll

Lecture 5Feb 6 2012 Survey Researchy Most used research tool to collect data and informationWhy surveys y Exploratory descriptive explanatory research y Great for large samples o Inexpensive quick y Sampling methods are very important o If you have unrepresentative population it will result in inaccuracy y Great for measuring attitudes LikertStrengths and weaknesses of survey research y Advantages o Reliability o Can describe large populations o Flexibility o StandardizedAllows for comparisons between locations and time y Disadvantages o ValidityHard to know if what is being measured is actually being measuredPeople misinterpret questions o SuperficialityDont get to the heart of many topics broad overview o Cannot modify questionnaire in fieldOnce it is sent it is final o TruthfulnessPeople can lie more easilyNot sure how truthful people are being y Types of surveys o Selfadministered mail telephone emailweb o Interview surveys o What are the advantages and disadvantages of eachWhat are the advantages and disadvantages of each Selfadministered Interview surveys Pro Con Pro Coninexpensivepeople can lieeasier to probeexpensivecan target a largercompletion rates are audience higher results the answers like dont knowA questionnaire should include y Contact letter y Information letter consent y Instructions y A method of return if necessaryQuestions on surveys y Survey questions should be o Mutually exhaustiveEvery person should be able to select an answer choice
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