Survey Research - Strengths and Weaknesses

 

STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES OF SURVEY RESEARCH

 

Strengths

  1. Surveys are particularly useful in describing the characteristics of a large population.
  2. Surveys- especially self-administered ones make large samples feasible.
  3. In one sense, surveys are flexible.
  4. Standardized questionnaires have an important strength in regard to measurement generally.

 

Weaknesses

  1. Surveys often appear superficial in their coverage of complex topics.
  2. Similarly, survey research can seldom deal with the context of social life.
  3. In many ways, surveys are inflexible.
  4. Finally, surveys are subject to artificiality. The problem of artificiality has two aspects:
    1. The topic of the study may not be amenable to measurement through questionnaires.
    2. Second, the act of studying that topic- an attitude, for example, may affect it.

 

* Survey research is generally weak on validity but strong on reliability.

 

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