Survey Research Design

    Survey research design employs statistical expertise to capture patterns of behavior and attitude, typically. By crafting a professional, sound survey, a statistician can gather relevant data and analyze it for appropriate conclusions. This process is usually executed through the use of written or oral questionnaires.

    Survey research design, therefore, can be utilized for two main types of surveys. A questionnaire is usually "self-administered," which enables respondents to receive and complete a survey on their own, at a physical location, or by fax or traditional mail. The second venue for survey administration is usually the interview, which includes face-to-face communication, in person or via telephone or computer.

    Of course, surveys themselves have their strengths and weaknesses inherently. While surveys are certainly cost-effective measures of data collection, they also create a little more difficulty in showing cause and effect relationships. Because of this, surveys are largely exploratory in nature, but can certainly be useful in making inferences.

    Survey Research Design Approaches

    In survey research design, there are two basic types of survey approaches. Cross-sectional design tends to ask questions of people in a single, given point in time, making it the most common survey approach. However, being that the cross-sectional design tends to create more difficulty in establishing causal relationship, longitudinal design is also used. This approach, conversely, asks the same exact questions at two or more different and distinct points in time.