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Survey research is a method of data collection that involves gathering data from a predefined group of respondents, or sample, via surveys. Survey research is widely used by researchers and organizations to understand people, consumers, and societies better. Although research can be conducted using many different methods, survey research is considered one of the most effective and trustworthy methods used to do so. That being said, survey research does come with its own limitations.
Within today’s article, we will examine the total survey error approach that outlines the different types of methodological limitations associated with survey research.
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When investigating the weaknesses of survey research, we can categorize its limitations into three key groups; survey errors, survey constraints, and survey effects.
Survey errors can be further categorized into the following three groups:
The next aspect of survey error that we will examine is survey constraints. These are the errors that are impossible to eliminate in surveys. As surveys can be expensive to conduct, minimizing survey error generally involves a tradeoff with costs. To reduce sampling error, more interviews can be taken, however, this will increase costs. To reduce coverage error, better sampling frames can be prepared, which will also result in increased costs. To reduce nonresponse error, callbacks can be increased, monetary incentives can be provided, and interviewer training can be improved; all measures that are associated with higher costs.
Survey-related effects limit the precision of the conclusions that can be drawn from collected data. These are a few different survey-related effects:
Survey research refers to the systematic method of data collection from a sample of respondents via surveys.
The limitations of survey research can be categorized into three groups; survey constraints, survey errors, and survey-related effects.
Survey errors refer to the different mistakes that are made in the construction and implementation of the survey, as well as the interpretation of its results. Survey constraints, on the other hand, refer to the limitations of survey research that are impossible to eliminate in surveys. Survey-related effects refer to the aspects of survey research that limit the accuracy of the conclusions that can be drawn from survey evidence.