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Survey Research and Sampling - Assignment Example

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Survey Research and Sampling Name: Institution:       Survey Research and Sampling Applicability of surveys as an important research instrument Research denotes a systematized inquiry aimed at finding an answer to an unknown phenomenon (Kothari 2008, p…
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Download file to see previous pages This method of research is an important measurement area applied in social research within fields such as psychology, sociology, politics and market research (Creswell 2002, p.57). The approach often adopts interviews or questionnaire administration as the data collection modes. The survey method was introduced in the 1930s by a popular sociologist known as Paul Lazarsfeld (Sarah 2012b). Surveys are commonly classified according to instrumentation (questionnaires or interviews) and according to the time-frame of the study (longitudinal or cross-sectional) (Marczyk, DeMatteo&Festinger, 2010, p. 27). Surveys find wide application, but they are best suited for gathering information currently not available from other sources (Sarah 2012c). They therefore, could act as precursors to further and specific research in a quantitative, experimental approach. Surveys conducted in qualitative perspective can lay ground for the development of clearly defined and deeper studies in a quantitative approach (Sarah 2012c). This happens after research questions and variables get clearly defined in the preliminary qualitative surveys. Surveys are also important research instruments whose application is favored by various advantages that are inherent to the approach. For example, surveys offer a low cost approach to conducting efficient studies, especially when questionnaires are used. Unlike other approaches to research, surveys could also be tailored to take less time, and therefore, enhancing time efficiency and cost effectiveness (Sarah 2012a). Apart from cost and time effectiveness, surveys also provide high levels of representativeness (Sarah 2012a). This is important in enhancing validity of inferences made and generalization of findings to wider populations. Surveys are also important because they offer convenience in data collection, which could adopt various models such as interviews (face-to-face or telephone) and questionnaires (via mail, e-mail or hand delivery) (Sarah 2012a). This convenience could even allow globalized scale of data collection. Survey approaches are also important and appropriate when numerous variables are involved (Fink 2002, p. 71). Precision and standardization of surveys is also an important element that results from the clear definition and standardization of questions that equally assess participants. Criteria of a good sample in surveys Survey sampling entails the careful selection of survey participants by defining the inclusion and exclusion criteria as well as sample size (Sarah 2012c). Sampling is a critical phase in surveys because it determines the validity and reliability of the overall study. In order to be confident that the survey findings are truly representative of the target population, it is critical to ensure that the sample size is large enough and its components undergo random selection. In order to obtain a good sample a clearly defined criterion for the participants should be set so as to acquire a sample from which participants can offer reliable information for the assessment of the phenomenon of interest (Sarah 2012a). For example, in order to assess satisfaction in healthcare delivery, it would be appropriate to sample from the patient population rather than the medical practitioners’ population. Sampling the appropriate target population ensures the sample obtained is good for research. Randomness should also be enhanced so as to improve representativeness, which ensures the sample ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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