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Encyclopedia > Statistical survey

Statistical surveys are used to collect quantitative information about items in a population. Surveys of human populations and institutions are common in political polling and government, health, social science and marketing research. A survey may focus on opinions or factual information depending on its purpose, and many surveys involve administering questions to individuals. When the questions are administered by a researcher, the survey is called a structured interview or a researcher-administered survey. When the questions are administered by the respondent, the survey is referred to as a questionnaire or a self-administered survey. Image File history File links Broom_icon. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... The social sciences are groups of academic disciplines that study the human aspects of the world. ... For the magazine, see Marketing (magazine). ... This article does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... For the suburb of Melbourne, Australia, see Research, Victoria. ... Structured interviewing (also known as standardised interviewing or researcher administered survey) is a quantitative research method commonly employed in survey research. ... Structured interviewing (also known as standardised interviewing or researcher administered survey) is a quantitative research method commonly employed in survey research. ... In Common law, a defendant is any person who is required to answer the complaint of a plaintiff in a civil suit or any person who has been named in a criminal information or criminal complaint and stands accused of violating a criminal statute. ... A questionnaire is a research instrument consisting of a series of questions and other prompts for the purpose of gathering information from respondents. ... A questionnaire (also known as self-administered survey) is a type of statistical survey handed out in paper form usually to a specific demographic to gather information in order to provider better service or goods. ...

Contents

Structure and standardization

The questions are usually structured and standardized. The structure is intended to reduce bias (see questionnaire construction). For example, questions should be ordered in such a way that a question does not influence the response to subsequent questions. Surveys are standardized to ensure reliability, generalizability, and validity (see quantitative marketing research). Every respondent should be presented with the same questions and in the same order as other respondents. Questionnaires are frequently used in quantitative marketing research and social research in general. ... In psychometrics reliability is the accuracy of the scores of a measure. ... In psychometrics a valid measure is one which is measuring what it is supposed to measure. ... Quantitative marketing research is a social research method that utilizes statistical techniques. ...


In organizational development (OD), carefully constructed survey instruments are often used as the basis for data gathering, organizational diagnosis, and subsequent action planning. Some OD practitioners (e.g. Fred Nickols) even consider survey guided development as the sine qua non of OD. The field of organization development (OD) has had several definitions. ... Sine qua non or condicio sine qua non was originally a Latin legal term for without which it could not be (but for). It refers to an indispensable and essential action, condition, or ingredient. ...


Serial surveys

Serial surveys are those which repeat the same questions at different points in time, producing time-series data. They typically fall into two types: In statistics, signal processing, and econometrics, a time series is a sequence of data points, measured typically at successive times, spaced at (often uniform) time intervals. ...

  • Cross-sectional surveys which draw a new sample each time. In a sense any one-off survey will also be cross-sectional.
  • Longitudinal surveys where the sample from the initial survey is recontacted at a later date to be asked the same questions.

Cross-sectional studies form a class of research methods that involve observation of some subset of a population of items all at the same time. ... A longitudinal study is a correlational research study that involves observations of the same items over long periods of time, often many decades. ...

Advantages and disadvantages of surveys

  • Advantages of survey techniques
    • It is an efficient way of collecting information from a large number of respondents. Very large samples are possible. Statistical techniques can be used to determine validity, reliability, and statistical significance.
    • Surveys are flexible in the sense that a wide range of information can be collected. They can be used to study attitudes, values, beliefs, and past behaviours.
    • Because they are standardized, they are relatively free from several types of errors.
    • They are relatively easy to administer.
    • There is an economy in data collection due to the focus provided by standardized questions. Only questions of interest to the researcher are asked, recorded, codified, and analyzed. Time and money is not spent on tangential questions.
  • Disadvantages of survey techniques
    • They depend on subjects’ motivation, honesty, memory, and ability to respond. Subjects may not be aware of their reasons for any given action. They may have forgotten their reasons. They may not be motivated to give accurate answers, in fact, they may be motivated to give answers that present themselves in a favorable light.
    • Structured surveys, particularly those with closed ended questions, may have low validity when researching affective variables.
    • Although the chosen survey individuals are often a random sample, errors due to nonresponse may exist. That is, people who choose to respond on the survey may be different from those who do not respond, thus biasing the estimates.
    • Survey question answer-choices could lead to vague data sets because at times they are relative only to a personal abstract notion concerning "strength of choice". For instance the choice "moderately agree" may mean different things to different subjects, and to anyone interpreting the data for correlation. Even yes or no answers are problematic because subjects may for instance put "no" if the choice "only once" is not available.

Sampling is that part of statistical practice concerned with the selection of individual observations intended to yield some knowledge about a population of concern, especially for the purposes of statistical inference. ... A closed-ended question is a form of question, which normally can be answered with a simple yes/no dichotomous question, a specific simple piece of information, or a selection from multiple choices (multiple-choice question), if one excludes such non-answer responses as dodging a question, refusing or declaring... In psychometrics a valid measure is one which is measuring what it is supposed to measure. ...

Advantages and disadvantages of self-administered surveys

  • Disdvantages of self-administered surveys
    • Respondents are more likely to stop participating mid-way through the survey (drop-offs)
    • Respondents cannot ask for clarification
    • Low response rate in some modes
    • No interviewer intervention available for probing or explanation
    • Often respondents returning survey represent extremes of the population - skewed responses
    • Respondents can read the whole questionnaire before answering any questions
  • Advantages of self-administered surveys
    • Fewer misunderstood questions and inappropriate responses.
    • Fewer incomplete responses.
    • Higher response rates.
    • Greater control over the environment that the survey is administered in.
    • Additional information can be collected from respondent

Response rate (also known as completion rate or return rate) in survey research refers to the ratio of number of people who answered the survey divided by the number of people in the sample. ... Response rate (also known as completion rate or return rate) in survey research refers to the ratio of number of people who answered the survey divided by the number of people in the sample. ...

Survey methods

There are several ways of administering a survey, including:

  • Telephone
    • use of interviewers encourages sample persons to respond, leading to higher response rates.[1]
    • interviewers can increase comprehension of questions by answering respondents' questions.
    • fairly cost efficient, depending on local call charge structure
    • good for large national (or international) sampling frames
    • cannot be used for non-audio information (graphics, demonstrations, taste/smell samples)
    • three types:
      • traditional telephone interviews
      • computer assisted telephone dialing
      • computer assisted telephone interviewing
  • Mail
    • response rate 5% - 30%[citation needed]
    • the questionnaire may be handed to the respondents or mailed to them, but in all cases they are returned to the researcher via mail.
    • cost is very low, since bulk postage is cheap in most countries
    • long time delays, often several months, before the surveys are returned and statistical analysis can begin
    • not suitable for very complex issues
    • no interviewer bias introduced
    • large amount of information can be obtained: some mail surveys are as long as 50 pages
    • response rates can be improved by using mail panels
      • members of the panel have agreed to participate
      • panels can be used in longitudinal designs where the same respondents are surveyed several times
  • Online surveys
    • can use web or e-mail
      • web is preferred over e-mail because interactive HTML forms can be used
    • response rates sometimes 90% before 2000, but have been dropping fast since then (now 2% - 30%)
    • often inexpensive to administer
    • very fast results
    • easy to modify
    • response rates can be improved by using Online panels - members of the panel have agreed to participate
    • if not password-protected, easy to manipulate by completing multiple times to skew results
    • data creation, manipulation and reporting can be automated
    • data sets created in real time
    • some are incentive based
  • Personal in-home survey
    • respondents are interviewed in person, in their homes (or at the front door)
    • very high cost
    • response rate 40% - 50%[citation needed]
    • suitable when graphic representations, smells, or demonstrations are involved
    • suitable for long surveys
    • suitable for locations where telephone or mail are not developed
  • Personal mall intercept survey
    • shoppers at malls are intercepted - they are either interviewed on the spot, taken to a room and interviewed, or taken to a room and given a self-administered questionnaire
    • response rate about 50%[citation needed]
    • socially acceptable - people feel that a mall is a more appropriate place to do research than their home
    • potential for interviewer bias
    • fast
    • easy to manipulate by completing multiple times to skew results
  • Methods used to increase response rates
    • brevity - single page if possible
    • financial incentives
      • paid in advance
      • paid at completion
    • non-monetary incentives
      • commodity giveaways (pens, notepads)
      • entry into a lottery, draw or contest
      • discount coupons
      • promise of contribution to charity
    • preliminary notification
    • foot-in-the-door techniques - start with a small inconsequential request
    • personalization of the request - address specific individuals
    • follow-up requests - multiple requests
    • claimed affiliation with universities, research institutions, or charities
    • emotional appeals
    • bids for sympathy
    • convince respondent that they can make a difference
    • guarantee anonymity

Electronic mail, abbreviated e-mail or email, is a method of composing, sending, and receiving messages over electronic communication systems. ... In computing, HyperText Markup Language (HTML) is a markup language designed for the creation of web pages and other information viewable in a browser. ... An online panel is a group of individuals (either professionals or general public) made up of members of a specific category of the population (eg : lawyers, physicians, car dealers, elderly, ...) who participate in market research studies online. ...

Approaches to Sampling in Research Methods

Sample selection is critical to the validity of the information that represents the populations that are being studied. The approach of the sampling helps to determine the focus of the study and allows better acceptance of the generalizations that are being made. Careful use of biased sampling can be used if it is justified and as long as it is noted that the resulting sample may not be a true representation of the population of the study. There are two different approaches to sampling in survey research:

  • There is nonprobability sampling approach. With this approach it does not guarantee the chance that all the elements involved in the research will be included in the sample. We can not calculate the probability that each element will be represented. The most commonly used nonprobability sampling method is the convenience sampling approach. With this method, it only samples those who are available and willing to participate in the survey. The use of this approach allows for convenience for the researcher and a possible small sample while possibly losing data validity due to the lack of representation.
  • The probability sampling approach for research methods gives each element an equal chance of being included in the sample. This method is closer to a true representation of the population. It can be difficult to use due to size of the sample and cost to obtain, but the generalizations that come from it are more likely to be closer to the a true representation of the population. Probability sampling includes specific sampling procedures such as simple random sampling and stratified random sampling that allow the sample to represent the population more than the nonprobability approach.
    • Simple random sampling approach, each element of the population has an equal chance of being included in the sample.
    • Stratified random sampling approach, the population is divided into subpopulations (called strata) and the random samples are then drawn from the strata. This approach increases the representation of the population.

Sampling is the use of a subset of the population to represent the whole population. ...

See also

For article assessment policy on Wikipedia, see Wikipedia:Article assessment. ... Measures of national income and output are used in economics to estimate the value of goods and services produced in an economy. ... An opinion poll is a survey of opinion from a particular sample. ... Quantitative marketing research is a social research method that utilizes statistical techniques. ... Questionnaires are frequently used in quantitative marketing research and social research in general. ...

Lists of related topics

Following is a list of accounting topics. ... This aims to be a complete list of the articles on economics. ... Topics in finance include: // Finance an overview Arbitrage Capital (economics) Capital asset pricing model Cash flow Cash flow matching Debt Default Consumer debt Debt consolidation Debt settlement Credit counseling Bankruptcy Debt diet Debt-snowball method Discounted cash flow Financial capital Funding Financial modeling Entrepreneur Entrepreneurship Fixed income analysis Gap financing... This is a list of articles on general management and strategic management topics. ... This is a list of over 200 articles on marketing topics. ...

References

Abramson, J.J. and Abramson, Z.H. 1999. "Survey Methods in Community Medicine: Epidemiological Research, Programme Evaluation, Clincal Trials" (5th edition). London: Churchill Livingstone.


Groves, R.M. 1989. Survey Errors and Survey Costs. New York: Wiley.


Ornstein, M.D. 1998. "Survey Research." Current Sociology 46(4): iii-136.


Shaughnessy, J. J., Zechmeister, E. B., & Zechmeister, J. S. (2006). Research Methods in Psychology (Seventh Edition ed., pp. 143-192). New York, New York: Higher Education.

  1. ^ Groves, R.M. (1989) Survey Costs and Survey Errors. New York: Wiley.

External links

  • ESOMAR is the world organisation for enabling better research into markets, consumers and societies.
  • American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR)
  • European Survey Research Association (ESRA)
  • Council of American Survey Research Organizations (CASRO)
  • Marketing Research Association (MRA)
  • Short Courses in Survey Methodology, sponsored by the Joint Program in Survey Methodology (JPSM) - University of Maryland-College Park and University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
  • Surveying sensitive subjects
  • American Statistical Association - Survey Research Methods Section
  • Free Resources for Methods in Evaluation and Social Research links to free resources about how to do surveys.

  Results from FactBites:
 
Probability Survey Overview (2083 words)
Statistical survey methods are very efficient because they require sampling relatively few locations to make valid scientific statements about the condition of large areas (e.g., all wadeable streams within an EPA Region).
Survey sampling is intended to characterize the entire population of interest; therefore, all members of the target population must have a known chance of being included in the sample.
When the survey design is a simple random sample, the percentage is calculated simply as the number of respondents who plan to vote for the candidate divided by the total number of respondents and multiplied by 100 to convert to a percentage.
Statistical survey - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1033 words)
Surveys of human populations and institutions are common in political polling and government, health, social science and marketing research.
Longitudinal surveys where the sample from the initial survey is recontacted at a later date to be asked the same questions.
Although the chosen survey individuals are often a random sample, the respondents are usually self-selected, and therefore a non-probability samples from which the characteristics of the population sampled cannot be inferred.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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