Kd's e-pathsala Research Methodology Survey Research: Concept and Types

Survey Research: Concept and Types

Survey Research is defined as “the collection of information from a sample of individuals through their responses to questions” (Check & Schutt, 2012). This type of research allows for a variety of methods to recruit participants, collect data, and utilize various methods of instrumentation. Survey research can use quantitative research strategies (e.g., using questionnaires with numerically rated items), qualitative research strategies (e.g., using open-ended questions), or both strategies (i.e., mixed methods). As it is often used to describe and explore human behaviour, surveys are therefore frequently used in social and psychological research (Singleton & Straits).

Classification of survey research

survey research can be classified into two methods:

  1. Longitudinal survey research: Longitudinal survey research involves conducting survey research over a continuum of time and spread across years and decades. The data collected using this survey research method from one time period to another is qualitative or quantitative. Respondent behaviour, preferences, attitudes are continuously observed over time to analyze reasons for a change in behaviour or preferences. For example, suppose a researcher intends to learn about the eating habits of teenagers. In that case, he/she will follow a sample of teenagers over a considerable period to ensure that the collected information is reliable. Often, cross-sectional survey research follows a longitudinal study.
  2. Cross-sectional survey research: Researchers conduct a cross-sectional survey to collect insights from a target audience at a particular time interval. This survey research method is implemented in various sectors such as retail, education, healthcare, SME businesses, etc. Cross-sectional survey research can either be descriptive or analytical. It is quick and helps researchers collect information in a brief period. Researchers rely on a cross-sectional survey research method in situations where descriptive analysis of a subject is required.


What are the benefits of using survey research?

  1. They’re relatively easy to do
  2. They can be cost effective
  3. You can collect data from a large sample
  4. You can use survey software to analyse results immediately
  5. Surveys can collect any type of data