Benefit From 3 Types of Survey Research

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What are 3 types of survey research and how can they benefit your research?

What are the 3 types of survey research? There happen to be 3 types that we’ll explore in this blog post. They include: exploratory, descriptive, and casual. Each type of research serves its own purpose and can be used in certain ways. Utilizing all types of research at once in your online surveys can help create greater insights and better quality data.

Exploratory Research

Exploratory research is conducted in order to determine the nature of a problem. It is intended to explore research questions, but its intent is not to offer final and conclusive solutions to existing issues. Exploratory research provides researchers with a better understanding of the problem, but the results of exploratory research are typically not useful for decision-making alone. Exploratory research can provide significant insight into a given situation, as the objective is to gather preliminary information that will help define issues and suggest hypotheses.

Exploratory research can be used in a variety of research methods, including: trial studies, pilot studies, interviews, case studies, focus groups, and various experiments. How can exploratory research be used in online surveys? Exploratory research takes the form of open-ended questions – questions where participants can leave responses in the format of open text comments. Text comments may not be statistically measureable (unless properly coded), but they will give you richer, more quality data that can lead you to uncover new initiatives or issues that should be addressed.

Descriptive Research

The objective of descriptive research, also known as statistical research, is to describe situations. For example, to describe things like the market potential for a product or the demographics and attitudes of consumers who buy a certain product or service.

An online survey is a descriptive research method that produces conclusive data given its quantitative ability. Unlike exploratory research, descriptive research is methodically planned, designed, and formatted to collect quantifiable data. Grouping responses into set choices will provide statistically conclusive data. This allows you to measure the significance of your results on the overall population, as well as track the changes of your respondents’ opinions, attitudes, and behaviors over time.

Casual Research

Similar to descriptive reach, casual research also produces quantitative data and is methodically planned, designed, and formatted, as well as it provides statistically conclusive data. The objective of causal research is to test hypotheses about cause-and-effect relationships. For instance, if the objective of your research is to determine what variable (cause) is causing a certain behavior (effect), casual research is needed. Casual research can help you understand which variables are the cause and which variables are the effect, and will help you determine the route of the relationship between the variables and the effects to be forecasted.

To conduct this type of research in the form of a survey, you will need to establish a purpose, ask a question (what you need to know), and formulate a hypothesis (what outcome you expect).  Here’s an example:

  • Purpose: The purpose is to find out if a popular product label should be redesigned.
  • Question: Will a new label design have a positive effect on sales?
  • Hypothesis: The new label design will increase product sales.

Casual research can be very complex and the researcher can never be completely certain that there aren’t any other factors that may influence the causal relationship.

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