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Pluses and Minuses of Survey Methods

It’s hard to compare the advantages and disadvantages of the major different survey types. Even though each type has some general advantages and disadvantages, there are exceptions to almost every rule. Here’s my general assessment. Perhaps you would differ in your ratings here or there, but I think you’ll generally agree.

Issue Group Questionnaire Mail Questionnaire Drop-Off Questionnaire Online Questionnaire[^1] Personal Interview Phone Interview Online Video Survey (recorded by respondent)[^1] Online Video Interview (interactive with an interviewer)[^1]
Are Visual Presentations Possible?
Are Long Response Categories Possible?
Is Privacy A Feature?
Is the Method Flexible?
Are Open-ended Questions Feasible?
Is Reading & Writing Needed?
Can You Judge Quality of Response?
Are High Response Rates Likely?
Can You Explain Study in Person?
Is It Low Cost?
Are Staff & Facilities Needs Low?
Does It Give Access to Dispersed Samples?
Does Respondent Have Time to Formulate Answers?
Is There Personal Contact?
Is A Long Survey Feasible?
Is There Quick Turnaround?