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Difference Between Questionnaires and Surveys

Questionnaires vs Surveys

Want to know the difference between a survey and a questionnaire? Read on and find out.

Questionnaire
A questionnaire is a research tool that uses questions to gather information from multiple respondents. It is a type of survey meant to help with the statistical analysis of the responses.

There are two type of questionnaire:
- Questionnaires that measure separate variables, including questions about a person’s preferences, behavior, and facts.
- Questionnaires that measure variables included in a scale like those about individual personalities and other traits, attitudes, and index.

The questions can be open-ended wherein the respondent can formulate his own answer, or closed-ended wherein a number of options are given from which the respondent can choose his answer.

In constructing questionnaires, there are some rules to be followed. The first is to formulate statements that can be interpreted in different ways by different people who will give different answers. The second is to use positive statements only and have an open answer category after each possible answer. The third is to never make any assumption about the respondent and avoid items that can have more than one question.

It is also necessary to use clear and precise words, correct grammar, and correct punctuation, whether the questions are presented orally, on paper, or on the computer.

Questionnaires are cheap, nearly effortless, and simple. However, while questionnaires are good for small surveys, it can be impractical to use them for projects that involve a large number of respondents.

Survey
A survey is the systematic collection of information from different individuals. They are used for scientific purposes and provide information in all research fields wherein the success is dependent upon how the population is represented by the respondents.
Costs, coverage, flexibility, willingness to participate, and the accuracy of the responses can influence the way of conducting a survey.

Here are the ways on how surveys can be conducted:
- Telephone, which can have a high response rate, is cheap, and is good for national or international surveys. Three types: traditional phone interview, computer assisted telephone interview, and computer assisted telephone dialing.
- Mail, which is very low cost, very convenient, allows a big amount of information to be obtained but can take a longer time for responses to return and is not appropriate for issues that need clarification.
- An online survey, which is done through email, is fast, cheap, and easy to modify but can be manipulated and is geared towards younger respondents.
- Personal in-home survey, wherein respondents are interviewed in their homes which can be expensive.
- Personal mall intercept survey, which are conducted in malls.

Summary
1. A questionnaire is a research tool that uses questions in the gathering of information from different respondents while a survey is the systematic collection of information from different individuals.
2. A questionnaire is a survey tool while a survey is the process of using questionnaires to gather information.
3. A survey is broad while a questionnaire is a specific type of gathering information.


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