Survey Research

Chapter 6

Freddy Noriega & Leslie Barrett

CI 5390 Spring 2014

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USA Street Survey Very Funny

A survey is one method researchers may use to collect information relative to their study.

Surveys describe the

  • opinions
  • behaviors
  • characteristics
of a population of interest.

Types of Surveys

Creating the Research Instrument

  • Maximize information
  • Minimize burden on participants
  • Pattern after previously successful questionnaires/interviews
  • Pilot test the questionnaire or interview

Questionnaire Basics

Guidelines for Quality Questionnaire Creation

be simple & clear

  • short questions & responses
  • ask explicit questions
  • emphasize words for clarity (NOT)
  • avoid double negatives
  • avoid two part questions
cover all possibilities ("other")
give points of reference (ranking) vs. vague questions
ask only important questions

pilot test to identify & correct weak spots

Open form vs Closed form questionnaires

  • open = no response limitations
  • closed = restricted set of possible responses


Link to a survey received via email

Web based customer satisfaction survey from Texas State

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Which form of questionnaire question is more effective: open-form or closed form?

Interview Basics

  • Useful when researcher needs to go deeper with information collection
  • Provides richer data
  • Structured Interview uses an interview protocol to guide questioning
  • Pilot test interview instruments
  • Sequencing and social desirability bias
  • Coding responses for quantitative analysis


Socrative vote: Which has a higher potential for bias: Interviews or questionnaires?

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Sampling = a systematic procedure for for choosing the group to be surveyed

Samples should reflect entire population of interest

Allows for impossibly large groups to be studied and findings to be generalized

Random Samples

cluster samples

stratified random samples

Freddy's awesome information about probability and all mathy stuff

Samples of Convenience

when it's impossible to get a true random sample of the population

Missing Data

can be a big problem in sampling

Clear as mud?


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