Handbooks of Research Methods and Applications series
Edited by Robert Stimson
Chapter 8: Survey research methods
As discussed by Amedeo et al. (2009: 87): if the researcher has made the decision that it is only primary data collection (which involves collecting new data) that makes it possible to address their research question, then adopting a survey approach to collect that data to generate the required information will necessitate giving very explicit attention to the onerous and quite complex tasks that are involved in conducting a survey. Survey research is widely used to generate data where the objective is to explicitly test hypotheses or investigate propositions about the overt behaviours, and the attitudes, perceptions and opinions of people. Almost invariably the information collected in a survey involves data that is subjected to quantitative analysis using both descriptive statistical and multivariate statistical analysis and modelling. However, qualitative information is also often collected through survey research. In using a survey approach to collect information and generate data a survey instrument – typically a questionnaire – is used and will need to be designed. Typically that will be a structured questionnaire, but it may also include open-ended questions.
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