Types of surveys: advantages and disadvantages of various survey methods

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Types of surveys: advantages and disadvantages of various survey methods
Types of surveys: advantages and disadvantages of various survey methods

Various questionnaires are the most common methods for obtaining initial information in a particular area. The main types of surveys are characterized by the speed of obtaining results, cost-effectiveness, and simplicity. These parameters have made such studies in demand among politicians, entrepreneurs, and school teachers. To obtain reliable survey results, the types of questions in the survey are selected taking into account the age of the respondents and their level of education.

types of surveys

Forms of conduct

Depending on the functions assigned to the survey, it can be conducted in two ways:

  • interview;
  • questionnaire.

Features of sociological survey

Social survey is a variant of primary sociological information. Its main types are based on an indirect or direct connection between the respondent and the researcher. The purpose of such a relationship will be to obtain specific data from the respondent in the form of answers to the questions posed.

The essence of the methodology is to communicate directly or indirectly through the questionnaire with the grouppeople (respondents). Almost all types of sociological survey involve a question-answer dialogue. The specificity of such communication lies in the fact that it must not only clearly correspond to the algorithm, but also take into account that ordinary people will act as participants, answering questions using their everyday experience. Types of a sociological survey are selected depending on the objectives of the study, the requirements for the reliability and reliability of the information being studied, organizational and economic capabilities.

The Importance of Sociological Research

Such a survey plays a special role in a variety of sociological studies. Its main purpose is to obtain sociological information about the state of collective, personal, public opinion, as well as facts, assessments, events directly related to the activities of respondents. Scientists are convinced that almost 90 percent of important empirical information comes from sociological research. Various types of surveys are recognized as the leading method for conducting research on people's consciousness. They are especially important for the analysis of social processes, as well as those phenomena that are inaccessible by simple observation.

types of sociological survey

Classification of contacts with respondents

Currently, it is customary to subdivide the types of surveys into several main groups:

  • personal conversations (face-to-face polls);
  • apartment (carried out at the place of direct residence of the respondents);
  • street (spend onstreets, shopping malls);
  • option with central location (hall-test).

Remote surveys

They involve obtaining information remotely. There is a certain classification of survey data:

  • Internet surveys;
  • phone conversations;
  • self-filled application forms.

Let's analyze the features of remote forms: a telephone conversation and an Internet survey.

Telephone survey

Such types of surveys are indispensable in situations where installation research is being carried out. Also, similar options are used for territories that are significantly remote from each other. How is a phone survey done? To begin with, it will be necessary to create the largest possible database of telephone numbers of candidate respondents. Further, several numbers are randomly selected from the created telephone base, which will become direct participants in this study.

The advantages of this survey option:

  • speed of execution;
  • minor research cost;
  • use in the survey is quite large in area;
  • opportunity to involve different groups of respondents in research;
  • no problems with interviewer quality control.

Among the main shortcomings of telephone surveys, we note significant limitations in the duration of the interview. In addition, such an option is not always possible, since in many settlements of Russia there are problems with telephone lines. If we analyzemodern types of surveys, then the telephone option will be the most efficient. It makes it possible to identify the opinions of different groups of the population on all issues. There is a division of such survey options according to the type of respondents used: interviews with legal entities, surveys of individuals.

types of online surveys

There are certain stages in a telephone interview:

  • developing questionnaires;
  • creating a sample.

Depending on the purpose of the study, the sample can be targeted when subscribers are selected according to certain criteria: age, position. Such types of surveys of citizens are carried out by trained interviewers. They listen to the subscriber's answers, enter them into a special electronic or printed questionnaire. Further, the processing of questionnaires, the creation of tables, the construction of graphs and diagrams is carried out. Specialists carry out analytical processing of the received data, provide the customer with a report. In it, all the answers of the respondents are divided into certain groups, the tables are accompanied by the main conclusions. Telephone surveys will be effective in those settlements where more than 75 percent of the population has telephones. Otherwise, it will be difficult to talk about the reliability of the information that will be obtained as a result of the survey.

Why do telephone surveys

These types of questionnaires are designed to identify the attitude of the population to certain brands, products, companies. A telephone survey makes it possible to receive prompt information about how the market and consumers react toactions of competitive companies. Such a study guarantees, without significant financial costs, to carry out a market analysis before the start, and also after the completion of promotions, to identify the effectiveness of the activities carried out.

According to the results of a telephone survey, it is impossible to collect in-depth material, since there are restrictions on the degree of complexity of the questions, the time of the conversation. Such a study is not suitable for studying the company's income, analyzing the work of the management team.

Internet survey

Let's analyze different types of online surveys that allow you to collect sociological information on specific facts and events online.

Given the multimillion-strong army of Internet users, this research option is quite effective and gives good results. As the main advantages of such a survey, we note its efficiency. This testing also has its drawbacks, which should also be mentioned. The results are affected by the attendance of those sites on the basis of which the survey is conducted. It is difficult for developers to control the actions of the respondent, so the results are highly questionable.

types of surveys types of interviews

By the end of the last century, the World Wide Web began to be used by many sociologists to carry out serious research on topical issues. Information can be received from all countries of the world and even from different continents. Thanks to Internet technologies, the collection of initial information for conducting research on various social processes is accelerating. IT enables expertsurveys, personal interviews, virtual focus groups. In our country, sociological surveys conducted via the Internet are still considered a rare occurrence. In European countries, such surveys are carried out much more often, replacing oral surveys with them. The types of oral survey used in a regular interview do not allow obtaining the desired results in a short period of time. Network research has certain advantages over traditional forms.

Benefits of online surveys

Such studies provide an opportunity to save material and human resources, as well as time, while obtaining high quality data. The decisive factor is precisely the saving of resources in the implementation of Internet surveys. Traditional forms do not attract respondents, as they have to break away from current activities. If the questionnaire is presented on several pages, not all people have the patience to read it to the end. The downside of the paper questionnaire is that it does not allow the respondent to evaluate the intermediate results of testing.

Internet tests provide individualized feedback after completing the survey, encouraging the respondent to systematically participate in such surveys. The surveyed Internet users form a positive attitude towards such studies, and there is a desire to involve friends and colleagues in them. Scientists highlight the ecological validity of Internet surveys. When interviewing, a person is in his usual, comfortable conditions. You can take the survey at any convenient time, so desiresRespondents do not have to get rid of the questionnaire as soon as possible. The methodology of such a study involves visual direct contact between the respondent and the sociologist. As a result, a communicative situation is created in which there is no psychological discomfort. The absence of coercion, embarrassment, awkwardness, nervousness, characteristic of the classic survey, guarantees frank and complete answers to the questions proposed in the questionnaires.

Problems related to alcohol use, drug use, and suicide are difficult to detect with regular surveys, as many see this as an attempt to invade privacy. Traditional methods do not guarantee the anonymity of respondents, so the Internet copes with the problem of openness. Unlike paper interviews, electronic surveys have detailed and detailed answers. This technique opens up new horizons for empirical sociology. There are also certain technical and methodological problems in using Internet surveys.

types of citizen survey

First of all, it should be noted that the number of people with free access to the Internet is limited. In addition, the types of survey questionnaires are subject-specific and are not suitable for global research. Among the technical problems, we note the limitedness of the proposed answers. When the respondent enters his option, there are difficulties with processing the results of the survey. There are problems with the software as well, and a significant distortion of the results obtained is possible. Part of the respondentsanswers the same questionnaire several times, especially if the survey involves material rewards. As a result, the objectivity of the results is reduced, it is impossible to speak about their reliability.

Comparison of telephone and internet surveys

Comparing these types, survey methods, sociologists prefer Internet technologies. Telephone interviews are often accompanied by rejection from potential respondents. Approximately 10-15 percent agree to take part in research, the rest of the people just hang up. There is no interest in surveys, since the people surveyed have no material interest. The Internet survey is facing technical problems and is not available to remote villages.

School surveys

The most common types of survey in the lesson: frontal, individual. Let us analyze the distinctive features of each option for testing the theoretical knowledge and practical skills of students used by teachers of educational institutions. Frontal survey is suitable for a quick check of homework. For example, the teacher can ask the children questions, including the whole class in the work. Such types of surveys in the classroom allow the teacher to assess students' knowledge and practical skills in a short period of time.

Thematic dictations are suitable for chemistry and physics lessons. The teacher offers questions, the answers to which will be formulas or units of measurement of physical (chemical) quantities. You can also check the dictation frontally, calling toboard "along the chain" of each student in the class. Such a survey will take a few minutes, while it will allow you to evaluate almost all students in the class. Teachers of the humanities (history, social studies, Russian language, literature) prefer individual surveys. Of course, questionnaires are used in their work not only by teachers, but also by the students themselves. Being engaged in extracurricular activities, working on their own research, project, the guys use different types of surveys, types of interviews. First, the teacher explains to the child the specifics of the survey, and only after that the young sociologist starts his own research.

types of survey methods

Among the nuances that are important to pay attention to when preparing for sociological surveys, one can single out their complete anonymity. For example, a child, through a questionnaire, finds out which shampoos his classmates, teachers, and parents prefer to buy. Further, the young scientist conducts his own research in a chemical laboratory, armed with scientific methods, he finds out the effectiveness of this product. At the next stage of work, he compares the results of the survey with the results of the experiment, compares them.

In today's school, polls have become commonplace, not a single event can do without them. For example, in order to assess the degree of comfort in the classroom, the psychologist invites the children to answer the questions of the questionnaire. Then the results are processed, the psychological state of the team is analyzed. When a teacher passes qualification tests,Questioning of parents, students, work colleagues is provided. The results obtained are drawn up in the form of a graph or diagram, attached to an expert opinion on the teacher's compliance with the declared category. Among the latest innovations used in the learning process are final tests for graduates of primary and secondary schools, offered in the form of tests.


Currently, various types of survey methods are used in all spheres of human activity: telephone interviews, Internet surveys, frontal conversations. Depending on the purpose, the optimal form, type, and duration of the survey are selected. The synthesis of interviewing and questioning is a telephone survey. It is mainly used during advertising and election campaigns. Surveys are used by science to solve practical problems. Statisticians have long used similar methods to collect information on labor force, structure, family expenses.

Journalists use a similar technique to determine the rating of programs, publications. TV journalists do not choose respondents according to certain criteria, so the results of the research are significantly distorted. Teachers use a survey of pupils as an option for monitoring acquired knowledge, checking homework. Doctors carry out a survey of primary patients, finding out information about existing diseases. The questions asked should take into account the psychological characteristics of the respondents, the situation that has developed before the conversation. Thinking through the survey, the sociologist chooses one of the options: questionnaires or interviews.Given that the interview can be individual and group, its form is pre-selected.

types of questions in a survey

A common variant of the survey is the distribution of questionnaires to respondents. Such a survey can be conducted at the place of residence, work of the respondents. Thus, the assessment of the quality and efficiency of the work of public utilities involves surveys of residents. The questionnaire implies a certain set of questions, each of which reflects certain research objectives. The questionnaire has an introductory part, it contains an appeal to the respondent, explains the purpose and objectives of the survey, a brief description of the expected results, and their benefits. Also, the questionnaire should indicate the degree of anonymity of the survey.

In order for the questionnaire to be complete, it must have detailed instructions for filling out, title, place and year of publication.

Full-fledged socio-statistical diagnostics makes it possible to obtain information about various social and economic transformations, the activities of municipal and state authorities, the impact of television and radio on young people.

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