survey method

survey method

a social science research technique using QUESTIONNAIRES and their analysis using various QUANTITATIVE and statistical techniques (see also SOCIAL SURVEY). In sociology the survey method is used for two main reasons:
  1. to describe a population and examine its principal characteristics, e.g. age, sex occupation, attitudes, etc.; and
  2. to test HYPOTHESES and examine the relationship between VARIABLES.

The main problems with the survey method include:

  1. the technique is non-experimental, i.e. the researcher cannot usually control the conditions under which the research is conducted;
  2. researchers have to rely upon what RESPONDENTS tell them unless they are able to verify their findings with direct observations;
  3. the technique is atomistic, i.e. it examines individuals rather than whole communities.

Nevertheless, the survey method does have much to recommend it. It provides a cheap and relatively easy way to obtain a considerable amount of simply quantifiable data, which can be used to test and verify sociological hypotheses and identify further areas of research.

Collins Dictionary of Sociology, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2000
References in periodicals archive ?
is a Calgary-based technology company whose proprietary SFD survey system utilizes quantum-scale sensors to detect gravity field perturbations in an airborne survey method which can be used both onshore and offshore to remotely identify traps and reservoirs with exploration potential.
In a statement, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas said that lending to households reflected a 'net tightening' in the first three months of the year based on one survey method, reflecting the imposition of higher credit standards.
Pearson chi-square and Fisher's exact test were used to compare the proportions of affirmative answers obtained by each survey method, stratified by gender and marital status, yielding four demographic groups--married men, unmarried men, married women and unmarried women.
The company was chosen based on the mystery shopping survey method.
From April, the office changed its survey method to mail from direct-visit and self-completed questionnaire, while increasing the number of targeted households to 8,400 from 6,720.
A new survey method developed by engineers at the University of Nottingham has provided the first detailed insights into the impact of historical mining on rural British landscapes.
To determine if densities differed with respect to the survey method (FLIR vs helicopter) or season (SNOW vs NO SNOW), we fitted a linear mixed model where the response variable was the deer density for each survey (plot and replicate), and survey method, season and the interaction were fixed effects.
Survey method using an enveloping measurement surface over a reflecting plane.
Multiple logistic regression for the bias index was conducted using environmental factors (survey method and survey setting) and youth characteristics (gender, grade, school performance, and risk behavior index) as independent variables.
Question two (how do we measure general attitudes of a population about a design?) adopts a quantitative survey method. Questions three (meanings users create) and Question four (critical analysis) both primarily use qualitative methods.
* Tracer methodology is a new survey method to be used starting January 1, 2004 not instead of, but in addition to, other survey methods.

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