How to Identify Whether or Not You Should Use Survey Methodology

Survey methodology is used to collect information about the population of interest by organising face-to-face interviews, telephonic conversations, internet or any other media source. Surveys are used to assess thoughts, feelings and opinions of people. The common research areas that require the use of this research methodology are social research and demography. 

When to conduct surveys?

Surveys are organised to collect new information about the experience of people for a particular event. These are benign to collect data that is not directly available in documents and does not allow of sufficient validity and reliability to meet research objectives. 

For example, you will conduct a survey if you want to analyse the experience of young children and their parents about the internet usage. You will randomly pick locations to take face-to-face interview of the fixed number of children (9 to 15-years-old) and their parents. 

When you have gathered information through a survey, your will arrange key findings in your thesis as follows:

  • Online activities that children do - games, instant messaging, homework, uploading images, chats and blog writing

  • Digital skills that they hone - developing search techniques, acute knowledge of apps and social media sites like privacy settings, blocking messages and finding website quality by comparison

  • Parents concern about the internet use - violent content, provocative images, internet bullying, threats and harmful messages, personal data abuse and online skullduggery

  • Parental restrictions on the internet use -  their guidance to children, their monitoring ways and the impact of their restrictions on children. 

Below is a snapshot of findings from another survey on attitudes and motivation toward English as the foreign language

When not to use surveys?

Here are the contraindications to the use of surveys.

  • When recorded data exists

  • A pre-existing survey exists

  • The concept is ill-defined

  • The sampling frame is not qualified


Survey methodology is the best tool to collect unobservable information such as human emotions and perspectives. However, you can use a mixed methodology that uses surveys and other data collection methods.

Category : Data Analysis
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