Survey methodology

Survey methodology is "the study of survey methods".[1] As a field of applied statistics concentrating on human-research surveys, survey methodology studies the sampling of individual units from a population and associated techniques of survey data collection, such as questionnaire construction and methods for improving the number and accuracy of responses to surveys. Survey methodology targets instruments or procedures that ask one or more questions that may or may not be answered.

Researchers carry out statistical surveys with a view towards making statistical inferences about the population being studied; such inferences depend strongly on the survey questions used. Polls about public opinion, public-health surveys, market-research surveys, government surveys and censuses all exemplify quantitative research that uses survey methodology to answer questions about a population. Although censuses do not include a "sample", they do include other aspects of survey methodology, like questionnaires, interviewers, and non-response follow-up techniques. Surveys provide important information for all kinds of public-information and research fields, such as marketing research, psychology, health-care provision and sociology.

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