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What Are The Disadvantages And Advantages Of Survey Method Of Research?

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Strengths:

Surveys are relatively inexpensive (especially self-administered surveys).
Surveys are useful in describing the characteristics of a large population. No other method of observation can provide this general capability.
They can be administered from remote locations using mail, email or telephone.
Consequently, very large samples are feasible, making the results statistically significant even when analyzing multiple variables.
Many questions can be asked about a given topic giving considerable flexibility to the analysis.
There is flexibilty at the creation phase in deciding how the questions will be administered: As face-to-face interviews, by telephone, as group administered written or oral survey, or by electonic means.
Standardized questions make measurement more precise by enforcing uniform definitions upon the participants.
Standardization ensures that similar data can be collected from groups then interpreted comparatively (between-group study).
Usually, high reliability is easy to obtain--by presenting all subjects with a standardized stimulus, observer subjectivity is greatly eliminated.
Weaknesses:

A methodology relying on standardization forces the researcher to develop questions general enough to be minimally appropriate for all respondents, possibly missing what is most appropriate to many respondents.
Surveys are inflexible in that they require the initial study design (the tool and administration of the tool) to remain unchanged throughout the data collection.
The researcher must ensure that a large number of the selected sample will reply.
It may be hard for participants to recall information or to tell the truth about a controversial question.
As opposed to direct observation, survey research (excluding some interview approaches) can seldom deal with "context."

From writing.colostate.edu

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