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Survey in Research studies Definition Essay

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Updated: May 23rd, 2018

Purpose of a survey

Different life situations give rise to circumstances that calls for more explanation to be well understood. In research studies, survey is used to collect data, so that detailed and quantified description of certain issues in the society can be availed.

It takes an approach where the researcher asks, in written, electronic or verbal form, questions to the respondents and the information gotten is analysed for making inferences that can be generalised.

Surveys can be used to collect first hand information regarding an issue, or can be used to test certain believes in a society. It does so through certain topic related questions to people who are known to have information (Allan & Skinner, 1991).

Examples of survey

There are different types of surveys; they are classified as written surveys, oral surveys, and electronic survey. Examples include consumer satisfaction survey; these are surveys aimed at collecting information on the level of satisfaction that customers are deriving from a company’s goods and probably take recommendations from consumers on how they can improve their services and products.

Pre-election surveys, they are common before elections were questions to determine the most favoured candidate in a forthcoming election are sort. They can also be used to gauge the prevailing political condition in a country.

Employees satisfaction surveys; this is mostly conducted by human resources department in a company with the aim of determining the effectiveness of their human resource management systems.

Guidelines to ensure that participants of a survey will have their responses kept private

When structuring the survey structure to use, the researcher should ensure that he/she does not call for any information that might lead to recognition of the respondent. The researcher should ensure that private information to relate to the survey is not collected for example name and identification of the respondent. The respondent should be informed of his rights; for example, the right to leave some questions unanswered or leave an interview/questionnaire process.

When analysing data, the data collected should be generalised and report made should have no information that may lead to the recognition of the respondent.

It is the role of the researcher to keep information collected confidential and private. He should guard the information from people who are not a party to the survey (Babbie,1995).

Guidelines to ensure that information gained from a survey is unbiased

Biasness results when participants give information that is not objective, they may favour one side for various reasons. To avoid biasness, a researcher should educate his participants on the need for the survey as well as the need to be unbiased. The structure of questionnaires should not be seen to take sides on a certain topic but should be open-ended.

At analysis level, data collected need to be sorted and that data to the extreme of a certain issue should be disregarded (Fowler , 2002).

The importance of planning in regards to privacy and buisness

After making a decision to conduct a survey on a certain issue, planning and preparation start. During planning sample population for data collection are established; this will ensure that only informative population are established. This will reduce biasness and ensure that data is collected from relevant sources.

At this stage, participants of the survey will be trained on the need to keep participants information confidential as well as the rights of participants. Survey questions are also reviewed to ensure they will not lead to biasness or violation of respondents’ privacy (Sapsford, 2007).


Allan, G., & Skinner, C. (1991). Handbook for Research Students in the Social Sciences. The Falmer Press: London.

Babbie, E.R. (1995). The practice of social research (7th). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Fowler, F. (2002). Survey research methods. London: Sage.

Sapsford, R. (2007). Survey research. London: Sage.

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