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By
Dr. Sudha Pandeya
Descriptive Research
Descriptive Research is used to describe
characteristics of a population or phenomenon
being studied.
It does not answer the questions about
how/when/why the characteristics occurred.
For example: what are the characteristics of the
population being studied.
Approaches of descriptive
research
1) Case study
2) Survey research
Case study-
It involves making detailed observations about
one specific case.
This could consists of observation or interviews
but there is no influence from the
researcher.
The intent is simply to examine closely the
qualities and characteristics of the case.
What is Survey Research?
 Survey Research is one of the most important
areas of measurement in applied social
research.
 The broad area of survey research
encompasses any measurement procedure
that involves asking questions of respondents.
 A survey can be anything from a short paper
and pencil feedback to an intensive one- to-
one in-depth interview.
 It is often used to assess thoughts, opinions
and feelings.
 A survey consists of a predetermined set of
questions that is given to a sample.
 The sample is chosen from the sampling,
frame which consists of list of all members of
the population of interest.
 The survey is a non- experimental descriptive
research method.
 It is a technique of gathering data by asking
questions to people who are thought to have
desired information.
Steps to follow in survey
research
 In conducting survey research , it is helpful to
follow a sequence of steps-
 1) Define objectives.
 2)It is necessary to make decisions about the
total amount of the time , money and
personnel available before conducting survey.
 3)Choose and develop techniques for
gathering data- In survey questionnaire and
interview are the most frequently used
techniques for collecting data.
 4) Sampling-Most surveys use probability
sampling in order to ensure adequate
representation of the population. The random
sampling is often stratified on some variables.
 5) Letter of transmittal- Mailed questionnaire
should be attached with a brief cover letter which
should establish credibility of the researcher and
his study .
 6) Follow-up- It is seen that only 40% -60%
respondents return questionnaire .So after 2-4
weeks follow up letters should be sent to those
who have not responded stressing the importance
of the study in other cover letter.
 7)Non- respondents-In most surveys there
will be a percentage of people who fail to
return the questionnaire. These people are
called non- respondents. If possible then they
should be interviewed.
Different designs of survey
research
 The different designs used in survey research
are-
 Cross-sectional studies
 Before- and- after studies
 Longitudinal studies
The cross -sectional study
design
 It is extremely simple in design.
 It is best suited to studies aimed at finding
out the prevalence of phenomenon ,situation,
problem, attitude or issue by taking a cross-
section of the population.
 In it a sample or samples are drawn from the
relevant population and studied once.
 It describes the characteristics of that
population at one time but can not give
insight as to the causes of population
characteristics.
 As these studies involve only one contact
with the study population, they are
comparatively cheap to undertake and easy to
analyse.
 Examples –
 Consumer satisfaction with a product.
 The relationship between the home
environment and the academic performance
of a child at a school.
The before- and – after
study design
 It is the most appropriate design for
measuring the effectiveness of a programme.
 It can measure change in a situation,
phenomenon, issue, problem.
 It is carried out by adopting the same process
of cross- sectional study except that it
comprises two cross- sectional observations,
the second being undertaken after a certain
period.
 Examples-
 The effectiveness of marriage counseling
services.
 The impact of incentives on the productivity of
employees in an organisation.
Longitudinal study design
 It is used to determine the pattern of change in
relation to time.
 It measures same random sample at multiple
time points.
 It is the easiest way of assessing the effect of
naturally occurring events.
 But it is expensive and difficult because it
hardens to find sample that will commit to a
month or yearlong study.
 Example-
 To ascertain the trends of the demand for labour.
Modes of data collection
 In survey first hand information is gathered
from primary source. Methods of data
collection from primary source are
 Interview
 Questionnaire
Interview
 Any person- to- person interaction between
two or more individuals with a specific
purpose in mind is called interview. Interviews
are of two types-
 Structured interviews.
 Unstructured interviews.
Structured Interview
 In structured interview the researcher asks a
predetermined set of questions using the
same order of questions as specified in
interview schedule.
 An interview schedule is a written list of
questions prepared for use by an interviewer
in a person- to -person interaction which may
be face- to- face , on telephone or by other
electronic media.
Unstructured Interview
 In unstructured interview complete freedom is
provided to the researcher in terms of content
and structure.
 There is flexibility in interview questions.
Types of unstructured interview are-
 In-depth interview
 Focus group interviews
 Oral histories
In-depth interviews
 It involves face-to-face, repeated interaction
between researcher and his/ her informants.
 It seeks to understand the latter’s
perspectives. Because of repeated contacts it
is assumed that the rapport between
researcher and informant will be enhanced
and that the corresponding understanding and
confidence between the two will lead to in-
depth and accurate information.
Focus group interviews
 In a focus group interview, researcher explore
the perceptions, experiences and
understandings of a group of people who have
some experience in common with regard to a
situation .For example-The researcher may
explore with relevant groups on issue of
domestic violence. Members of focus group
express their opinions while discussing the
issue which may be recorded or noted down
by the researcher.
Oral histories
 It involves both passive and active listening.
 It is most commonly used for learning about
historical event or episode that took place in
the past or for gaining an information about a
cultural, custom or story that has been passed
from generation to generation.
Limitations of interview
 In an interview the quality of the data
generated is affected by the experience , skills
and commitment of the interviewer.
 The interviewer may be biased.
 Quality of data may vary when many
interviewers are used.
 It is more expensive.
Questonnaire
 Questionnaire is the most commonly used tool
in survey research.
 It is a written list of questions printed or
typed in a definite order, the answers to which
are recorded by respondents.
 In this method questionnaire is sent usually
by post to the persons concerned with a
request to answer the questions and to return
the questionnaire.
Different ways of
administering a
questionnaire
 1. Mailed questionnaire
 It is a most common approach to collect
information. The questionnaire is sent to the
to the respondents by mail.
 It should be sent with self -addressed prepaid
envelope.
 It must be accompanied with a cover letter in
which the name of researcher, contact
number, objectives of study and general
instructions regarding questionnaire is
mentioned.
Collective administration
 One of the best ways of administering
questionnaire is to obtain captive audience
such as students in a classroom or people
assembled in one place.
 Here researcher has personal contact with the
study population ,he/she can explain the
purpose ,relevance and importance of the
study.
 It is the quickest way of collecting data,
ensures a very high response rate and saves
money and time.
Administration in public
place
 Sometimes questionnaire is administered in a
public place like shopping complex ,health
centre etc.
 The purpose of study is explained to potential
respondents as they approach and their
participation in the study is requested.
 It slightly more time- consuming.
Forms Of Questions
 There are two forms of questions:-
1.Open-ended
2.Closed -ended
1.In open-ended questions, the possible
responses are not given. Respondent writes
down the answers in his/her words.
In closed-ended questions, the possible
answers are set out in the questionnaire .
Answers are yes/no, true/false type in which
respondents have to tick.
In it, possible responses are already
categorised. They are easy to analyse.
Advantages of questionnaire
 It is less expensive and convenient method of
data collection.
 As there is no face-to-face interaction
between respondents and researcher, this
method provides greater anonymity.
Disadvantage of
questionnaire
 Its application is limited to a study population
that can read and write.
 Response rate is low as people fail to return
the questionnaire.
 If the respondents interpret questions wrongly
it will affect the quality of information
provided.
 Survey is not a research but a tool of
research which helps in data collection.
Survey  research

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Survey research

  • 2. Descriptive Research Descriptive Research is used to describe characteristics of a population or phenomenon being studied. It does not answer the questions about how/when/why the characteristics occurred. For example: what are the characteristics of the population being studied.
  • 3. Approaches of descriptive research 1) Case study 2) Survey research Case study- It involves making detailed observations about one specific case. This could consists of observation or interviews but there is no influence from the researcher. The intent is simply to examine closely the qualities and characteristics of the case.
  • 4. What is Survey Research?  Survey Research is one of the most important areas of measurement in applied social research.  The broad area of survey research encompasses any measurement procedure that involves asking questions of respondents.  A survey can be anything from a short paper and pencil feedback to an intensive one- to- one in-depth interview.
  • 5.  It is often used to assess thoughts, opinions and feelings.  A survey consists of a predetermined set of questions that is given to a sample.  The sample is chosen from the sampling, frame which consists of list of all members of the population of interest.
  • 6.  The survey is a non- experimental descriptive research method.  It is a technique of gathering data by asking questions to people who are thought to have desired information.
  • 7. Steps to follow in survey research  In conducting survey research , it is helpful to follow a sequence of steps-  1) Define objectives.  2)It is necessary to make decisions about the total amount of the time , money and personnel available before conducting survey.  3)Choose and develop techniques for gathering data- In survey questionnaire and interview are the most frequently used techniques for collecting data.
  • 8.  4) Sampling-Most surveys use probability sampling in order to ensure adequate representation of the population. The random sampling is often stratified on some variables.  5) Letter of transmittal- Mailed questionnaire should be attached with a brief cover letter which should establish credibility of the researcher and his study .  6) Follow-up- It is seen that only 40% -60% respondents return questionnaire .So after 2-4 weeks follow up letters should be sent to those who have not responded stressing the importance of the study in other cover letter.
  • 9.  7)Non- respondents-In most surveys there will be a percentage of people who fail to return the questionnaire. These people are called non- respondents. If possible then they should be interviewed.
  • 10. Different designs of survey research  The different designs used in survey research are-  Cross-sectional studies  Before- and- after studies  Longitudinal studies
  • 11. The cross -sectional study design  It is extremely simple in design.  It is best suited to studies aimed at finding out the prevalence of phenomenon ,situation, problem, attitude or issue by taking a cross- section of the population.  In it a sample or samples are drawn from the relevant population and studied once.  It describes the characteristics of that population at one time but can not give insight as to the causes of population characteristics.
  • 12.  As these studies involve only one contact with the study population, they are comparatively cheap to undertake and easy to analyse.  Examples –  Consumer satisfaction with a product.  The relationship between the home environment and the academic performance of a child at a school.
  • 13. The before- and – after study design  It is the most appropriate design for measuring the effectiveness of a programme.  It can measure change in a situation, phenomenon, issue, problem.  It is carried out by adopting the same process of cross- sectional study except that it comprises two cross- sectional observations, the second being undertaken after a certain period.
  • 14.  Examples-  The effectiveness of marriage counseling services.  The impact of incentives on the productivity of employees in an organisation.
  • 15. Longitudinal study design  It is used to determine the pattern of change in relation to time.  It measures same random sample at multiple time points.  It is the easiest way of assessing the effect of naturally occurring events.  But it is expensive and difficult because it hardens to find sample that will commit to a month or yearlong study.  Example-  To ascertain the trends of the demand for labour.
  • 16. Modes of data collection  In survey first hand information is gathered from primary source. Methods of data collection from primary source are  Interview  Questionnaire
  • 17. Interview  Any person- to- person interaction between two or more individuals with a specific purpose in mind is called interview. Interviews are of two types-  Structured interviews.  Unstructured interviews.
  • 18. Structured Interview  In structured interview the researcher asks a predetermined set of questions using the same order of questions as specified in interview schedule.  An interview schedule is a written list of questions prepared for use by an interviewer in a person- to -person interaction which may be face- to- face , on telephone or by other electronic media.
  • 19. Unstructured Interview  In unstructured interview complete freedom is provided to the researcher in terms of content and structure.  There is flexibility in interview questions. Types of unstructured interview are-  In-depth interview  Focus group interviews  Oral histories
  • 20. In-depth interviews  It involves face-to-face, repeated interaction between researcher and his/ her informants.  It seeks to understand the latter’s perspectives. Because of repeated contacts it is assumed that the rapport between researcher and informant will be enhanced and that the corresponding understanding and confidence between the two will lead to in- depth and accurate information.
  • 21. Focus group interviews  In a focus group interview, researcher explore the perceptions, experiences and understandings of a group of people who have some experience in common with regard to a situation .For example-The researcher may explore with relevant groups on issue of domestic violence. Members of focus group express their opinions while discussing the issue which may be recorded or noted down by the researcher.
  • 22. Oral histories  It involves both passive and active listening.  It is most commonly used for learning about historical event or episode that took place in the past or for gaining an information about a cultural, custom or story that has been passed from generation to generation.
  • 23. Limitations of interview  In an interview the quality of the data generated is affected by the experience , skills and commitment of the interviewer.  The interviewer may be biased.  Quality of data may vary when many interviewers are used.  It is more expensive.
  • 24. Questonnaire  Questionnaire is the most commonly used tool in survey research.  It is a written list of questions printed or typed in a definite order, the answers to which are recorded by respondents.  In this method questionnaire is sent usually by post to the persons concerned with a request to answer the questions and to return the questionnaire.
  • 25. Different ways of administering a questionnaire  1. Mailed questionnaire  It is a most common approach to collect information. The questionnaire is sent to the to the respondents by mail.  It should be sent with self -addressed prepaid envelope.  It must be accompanied with a cover letter in which the name of researcher, contact number, objectives of study and general instructions regarding questionnaire is mentioned.
  • 26. Collective administration  One of the best ways of administering questionnaire is to obtain captive audience such as students in a classroom or people assembled in one place.  Here researcher has personal contact with the study population ,he/she can explain the purpose ,relevance and importance of the study.  It is the quickest way of collecting data, ensures a very high response rate and saves money and time.
  • 27. Administration in public place  Sometimes questionnaire is administered in a public place like shopping complex ,health centre etc.  The purpose of study is explained to potential respondents as they approach and their participation in the study is requested.  It slightly more time- consuming.
  • 28. Forms Of Questions  There are two forms of questions:- 1.Open-ended 2.Closed -ended 1.In open-ended questions, the possible responses are not given. Respondent writes down the answers in his/her words.
  • 29. In closed-ended questions, the possible answers are set out in the questionnaire . Answers are yes/no, true/false type in which respondents have to tick. In it, possible responses are already categorised. They are easy to analyse.
  • 30. Advantages of questionnaire  It is less expensive and convenient method of data collection.  As there is no face-to-face interaction between respondents and researcher, this method provides greater anonymity.
  • 31. Disadvantage of questionnaire  Its application is limited to a study population that can read and write.  Response rate is low as people fail to return the questionnaire.  If the respondents interpret questions wrongly it will affect the quality of information provided.
  • 32.  Survey is not a research but a tool of research which helps in data collection.