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Longitudinal Study versus Survey Methods - Term Paper Example

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The author makes the comparison that exists between longitudinal research method and survey research method. This has been attained through an analysis of the various benefits and challenges of both methods. Practitioners in business marketing have applied longitudinal studies in their projects…
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Longitudinal Study versus Survey Methods
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Download file to see previous pages In the conduct of research, regardless of the type of study it is, a researcher is mostly faced with the main question of the research design to employ in the study. Ideally, the choice of a research method becomes the core of the study as it contributes to the determination of whether the expected study will be experimental or non-experimental (Leon, 2003). There are several designs a researcher can choose from, among them, longitudinal and survey research methods. In this essay, I seek to critically examine the nature of these two research methods and how applicable they are in the conduct of research studies. Through the adoption of a descriptive research form, I seek to outweigh the differences between longitudinal and survey research methods. The essay shall also entail the review of different kinds of literature that have since applied the two methods in examining various components of their studies.
A longitudinal study is an observational study that a researcher conducts on specific same test subjects or sample over a given period of time, usually extensive over a year or a decade. On the other hand, a survey research method seeks to examine the characteristics of individual units in a sample through the use of questionnaires to collect data and then using the same to determine the accuracy of responses obtained (Farrall, 2007). In this essay, I will outline the two research methods on a comparison basis; address their main features; outline their benefits and challenges by comparing one to the other and then providing an exemplar of studies that have once applied the same in the field of business.
In most cases, psychologists have engaged the use of longitudinal research methods when the studies under review entail the determination of the changes in the behavior of the test subjects, and how this behavior change and attitude impacts on the subjects over time. For instance, in a study involving employees in a particular career line from different organizations, a longitudinal study would, over time, examine the cause or reason for behavior change among them in respect of promotions, job shifting and provision of better working conditions and terms. In the case of a survey, the researcher may only be interested in a few factors that will mostly be determined by the responses received from the respondents (Hutto, Yardi & Gilbert, 2013).
While longitudinal research method entails in-depth interview-based studies where the researcher has to return to the same respondents over the duration of time to review any behavior changes, survey methods are in most times one-time based and considers no repeated tests. Even if the survey is conducted again, it may not necessarily engage the same test subjects. The longitudinal research method is mostly concerned with the processes that were associated with the changes in the behavior of the test subjects. An approach to this method is more appropriate when the study entails matters such as career, which are developmental processes.  ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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