Research Methodologies Essay

3399 words - 14 pages

Introduction
The most probably used research method is a survey. The production of knowledge depends on the methodologies used for collecting, storing and analyzing dataset and one of these techniques is survey. A survey is an investigation of one or more characteristics of a population. Most often, surveys are carried out on people by asking them questions. The most common types of surveys are done by interview, mail, or telephone.
A survey is a means of gathering information about the characteristics, actions, or opinions of a large group of people, referred to as a population (Tanur, 1982). Most people are familiar with three uses of survey techniques: the measurement of public opinion for newspaper and magazine articles, the measurement of political perceptions and opinions to help political candidates in elections, and market research designed to understand consumer preferences and interests. Each of these well-developed programs of survey research is aimed primarily at tapping the subjective feelings of the public.
In survey research, the scope of study is defined by using independent and dependent variables, which the researcher cannot explicitly control, or change. Like all measures in all science, survey measurement is not error free. The procedures used to conduct a survey have a major effect on the likelihood that the resulting data will describe accurately what they are intended to describe. A sample survey brings together three different methodologies: sampling, designing questions, and data collection. Each of these activities has many applications outside of sample surveys, but their combination is essential to good survey design.
This paper examines the quality of survey research, the pros and cons of survey and the accuracy and reliability of utilizing surveys. Assessment of survey techniques was discussed.
Every survey involves a number of decisions that have the potential to enhance or detract from the accuracy or precision of survey estimates (Attewell & Rule, 1991). Generally, the decisions that would lead one to have better data involve more money, time, or other resources. Thus the design of a survey involves a set of decisions to optimize the use of resources. Optimal design will take into account all the salient aspects of the survey process (Tanur, 1982).
According to Tanur (1982), a sample survey brings together three different methodologies: sampling, designing questions and data collection. Each of these activities has many applications outside of sample surveys, but their combination is essential to good survey design. Tanur (1982) presented five critical issues with respect to sampling survey as follow: (1) the choice of whether or not to use a probability sample. (2) The sample frame, which is those people who actually have a chance to be sampled. (3) The size of the sample. (4) The sample design, which is the strategy used for sampling people or household. (5) The rate of...

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