survey (social survey)

(noun) A research method that collects data from respondents through a series of questions either in the form of a questionnaire or an interview.

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Usage Notes:

  • Plural: surveys
  • The terms survey and social survey are used interchangeably in a sociological context.
  • Using surveys as a research method is called survey research.
  • Also called:
    • social survey
    • survey method
    • survey research

Related Quotations:

  • “[R]esearchers frequently select a representative sample (a small group of respondents) from a larger population (the total group of people) to answer questions about their attitudes, opinions, or behavior” (Kendall 2006:31).

Related Terms: 



Kendall, Diane. 2006. Sociology in Our Times: The Essentials. 5th ed. Belmont, CA: Thomson/Wadsworth.