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  • Created by: Arti
  • Created on: 23-01-13 16:53

Social surveys

Surveys asking people about their lives attitudes and opinions (takes two forms... interviews and self completion or written questionnaires)


*Close ended: respondents choose answers from a limited range of answers decided in advance by the researcher. Answers are pre-coded for ease of analysis later

*Open ended: respondents are free to give whatever they wish in their own words without pre selected choices

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step 1: Aim: most surveys have a general aim or seek to test a hypothesis. A hypothesis is more specific than an aim its a statement which identifies what the sociologist intends to study

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step 2:

Hypothesis: other surveys seek to test one or more hypotheses, its a possible explanation that can be tested by collecting evidence to prove it true or false

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step 3:

operationalising concepts: researcher needs to define their sociological concepts or ideas in ways that can be mearsured process of converting a concept or idea into a mearsurable form is called opertionalisation

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step 4:

Pilot study: Produce a draft questionnaire or interview schedule (list of interview questions) and give it a trial run. Its aim is to clarify and refine questions and their wording, gives interviewers practice etc

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Researchers are only able to study a small sample of a large wider target group. Sampling frame: to select a sample of the research population, soiciologist creates a sampling frame (list of all members of the research population (wider target group) from which the sample can be chosen. To be representative: a sample should have the same characteristics in the same amounts as the research population. Small samples are less likely to be representative of a large research population. If the researcher does not have a sampling frame which includes all members of the research population they cant create a representative sample.

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