Methods of collecting information for a Research study
The researcher often needs information about phenomena, processes that are inaccessible to direct observation and which are not reflected in documents. It can be information about the motives, interests, and preferences of people, their family life or household activities, etc.
The source of this information is the people themselves, their statements about their opinions, attitudes, actions or what surrounds them. The survey is a method of collecting primary information based on an oral or written appeal to a certain group of people with questions the content of which represents the research problem on an empirical level. There are four main types of interview: questioning (correspondence survey) and interviewing (full-time interview).
Questioning. The respondent fills out the questionnaire himself, this can happen both in the presence of the surveyor and without him. In the practice of applied sociology this type of survey is the most common.
Interviewing. When it is held, the interviewer’s personal communication with the respondent occurs. The interviewer himself asks questions to the interviewee and fixes the answers received.
Mass survey. The main source of information is representatives of various categories of workers whose professional activities are not directly related to the subject of analysis.
Specialized survey. The main source is competent people whose professional activity has a close connection with the subject of study or the accumulated life experience make it possible to make authoritative conclusions. Often this type of survey is called an expert poll.