The two most common types of survey include the questionnaire and face-to-face interviews. Questionnaires are inexpensive and very flexible. They can also be tailor-made for specific audiences. The demerits of questionnaires include dishonesty, non-conscientious responses, and different interpretations of the questions leading to misinformed responses. Face-to-face interviews have good response rates since the researcher can clarify the questions. They also allow the researcher to observe any attitude changes or non-verbal cues portrayed by the respondent. Face-to-face interviews, on the flip side, are expensive and time-consuming.
The common forms of field research are participant observation, ethnography, and case study. Participant observation allows the researcher to observe the real behavior of the respondents. It reduces the Hawthorne effect significantly since the researcher is assimilated into the group. Its demerits include ignoring certain details of the study thinking they are natural, influencing the group and the outcome of the research. Ethnography and case study allows a researcher to collect first-hand information over an extended time period. Moreover, the researcher can explore new lines of research. The disadvantages these methods include taking too much time and cultural bias from the researcher.
Experimental research is the best way of drawing a causal-effect relationship in interventions and treatments (Griffiths 42). Its advantages are repeatable, flexible, and controlled hence providing accurate results. Its demerits include impracticality since the researcher can create artificial situations that are not practical in real life scenarios. Additionally, human error and research bias can affect the findings of the study.
Secondary data analysis is time-saving since the researcher doesn’t have to collect the primary data. Moreover, it is easily accessible through the internet and quite inexpensive. However, this research method is difficult to validate due to the inappropriateness of the data and lack of control over data quality.
Griffiths, Heather, et al. Introduction to sociology 2e. OpenStax College, Rice University, 2015.