Pub. date: 2011 | Online Pub. Date: October 04, 2011 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412994163 | Print ISBN: 9781412959636 | Online ISBN: 9781412994163| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Survey Research Modes
Harold D. Clarke
Systematic surveys of the opinions, attitudes, and behavior of human populations are one of the major inventions of 20th-century social science research. Although survey research has its origins in the pre–World War II era, in the late 1940s, social scientists began to conduct high-quality survey research on a regular basis. Since that time, surveys have become a staple of social science research, and data generated by such studies are used by thousands of scholars around the world. These data are gathered in a variety of ways, which methodologists call survey modes . In the early 21st century, major survey modes are in-person interviews, telephone interviews, self-completion questionnaires, and Internet questionnaires. Below, these modes and their respective advantages and disadvantages are discussed in greater detail. The in-person or face-to-face interview occupies a preeminent position in scientific survey research. Such interviews typically are carried out in respondents' homes, although, historically, survey firms ...