Survey research is a type of field research that involves the use of a questionnaire to collect information from a sample of respondents. When the sample of survey respondents has been carefully selected, information collected from the sample can be used to draw inferences about the larger population from which the sample was drawn. The power of survey research, therefore, lies in the precision and efficiency with which the characteristics and attributes of a large population can be estimated via a set of measures collected from a small, scientifically selected subset of the population. The set of techniques that survey researchers use to gather data is known as survey methods. This entry examines some key elements underlying the validity and usefulness of surveys: survey design, ...

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