Advantages and Disadvantages of All Methods


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Advantages Disadvantages
They are quick and cheap to Response rate can be low
collect information In certain situations, e.g. school
No need to recruit or train gate, there may only be certain
anyone- they only need to hand types of people there e.g. middle
out questionnaires class, stay at home mums
Easy to quantify Not many people will have the
Reliable time to fill out a questionnaire
Replicable No full, original answers, so is it
Useful for testing hypothesis as valid?
its easy to establish a relationship They only consider now, not the
between 2 variables future or the past. Only gives
Attractive to positivists snapshot of people's lives
No relationship can be made No opportunity to clarify answers
between observer and given by individuals if not
participant= no bias understood- same with
Can be very representative of participant and questions
your target audience/ population People may give wrong answers
No/ little ethical issues as to show they are moral or correct
participant isn't subjected to Questions could be leading
harm questions
Advantages Disadvantages
Good for obtaining opinions and Could be seen as bias as
attitudes interviewer could be turning the
interview a certain way to obtain
the answers needed to fit their
No one says that these are an
ideal method of research
Answers obtained aren't always
Structured Interviews
Advantages Disadvantages
Cheap and quick ­ especially with Be could lie, be superficial or
large samples inaccurate
Easy to quantify Researcher could be biased
Impartial/ Neutral No flexibility with participant's
Can be replicated answers
Could possibly be generalised Data isn't valid
Unstructured Interviews

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Advantages Disadvantages
Participant can answer with detail Very expensive and a lot of time
and depth is needed
More accurate and less Not very easy to analyse as so
opportunity to get many answers are given
misunderstood Interviewee may not understand
Chances to access many different questions
groups of people Researcher bias
Trust can be built May be leading questions
Very valid as answers aren't People may lie
imposed by outside world/ Only consider now, not the past
society or future in most cases
Unreliable…read more

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Advantages Disadvantages
Very reliable Can't study the past
Very easy to control variables Hawthorne effect
Info obtained can usually be Can only successfully study small
generalised groups- usually.…read more


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