research paper survey example

How to Write a Survey Paper: Brief Overview

research paper survey example

Every student wishes there was a shortcut to learning about a subject. Writing a survey paper can be an effective tool for synthesizing and consolidating information on a particular topic to gain mastery over it.

There are several techniques and best practices for writing a successful survey paper. Our team is ready to guide you through the writing process and teach you how to write a paper that will benefit your academic and professional career.

What is a Survey Paper

A survey paper is a type of academic writing that aims to give readers a comprehensive understanding of the current state of research on a particular topic. By synthesizing and analyzing already existing research, a survey paper provides good shortcuts highlighting meaningful achievements and recent advances in the field and shows the gaps where further research might be needed.

The survey paper format includes an introduction that defines the scope of the research domain, followed by a thorough literature review section that summarizes and critiques existing research while showcasing areas for further research. A good survey paper must also provide an overview of commonly used methodologies, approaches, key terms, and recent trends in the field and a clear summary that synthesizes the main findings presented.

Our essay writing service team not only provides the best survey paper example but can also write a custom academic paper based on your specific requirements and needs.

How to Write a Survey Paper: Important Steps

If you have your head in your hands, wondering how to write a survey paper, you must be new here. Luckily, our team of experts got you! Below you will find the steps that will guide you to the best approach to writing a successful survey paper. No more worries about how to research a topic . Let's dive in!

How to Write a Survey Paper

Obviously, the first step is to choose a topic that is both interesting to you and relevant to a large audience. If you are struggling with topic selection, go for only the ones that have the most literature to compose a comprehensive research paper.

Once you have selected your topic, define the scope of your survey paper and the specific research questions that will guide your literature review. This will help you establish boundaries and ensure that your paper is focused and well-structured.

Next, start collecting existing research on your topic through various academic databases and literature reviews. Make sure you are up to date with recent discoveries and advances. Before selecting any work for the survey, make sure the database is credible. Determine what sources are considered trustworthy and reputable within the specific domain.

Continue survey paper writing by selecting the most relevant and significant research pieces to include in your literature overview. Make sure to methodically analyze each source and critically evaluate its relevance, rigor, validity, and contribution to the field.

At this point, you have already undertaken half of the job. Maybe even more since collecting and analyzing the literature is often the most challenging part of writing a survey paper. Now it's time to organize and structure your paper. Follow the well-established outline, give a thorough review, and compose compelling body paragraphs. Don't forget to include detailed methodology and highlight key findings and revolutionary ideas.

Finish off your writing with a powerful conclusion that not only summarizes the key arguments but also indicates future research directions.

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Survey Paper Outline

The following is a general outline of a survey paper.

  • Introduction - with background information on the topic and research questions
  • Literature Overview - including relevant research studies and their analysis
  • Methodologies and Approaches - detailing the methods used to collect and analyze data in the literature overview
  • Findings and Trends - summarizing the key findings and trends from the literature review
  • Challenges and Gaps - highlighting the limitations of studies reviewed
  • Future Research Direction - exploring future research opportunities and recommendations
  • Conclusion - a summary of the research conducted and its significance, along with suggestions for further work in this area.
  • References - a list of all the sources cited in the paper, including academic articles and reports.

You can always customize this outline to fit your paper's specific requirements, but none of the components can be eliminated. Our custom essay writer

Further, we can explore survey paper example formats to get a better understanding of what a well-written survey paper looks like. Our custom essay writer can assist in crafting a plagiarism-free essay tailored to meet your unique needs.

Survey Paper Format

Having a basic understanding of an outline for a survey paper is just the beginning. To excel in survey paper writing, it's important to become proficient in academic essay formatting techniques. Have the following as a rule of thumb: make sure each section relates to the others and that the flow of your paper is logical and readable.

Title - You need to come up with a clear and concise title that reflects the main objective of your research question.

Survey paper example title: 'The analysis of recommender systems in E-commerce.'

Abstract - Here, you should state the purpose of your research and summarize key findings in a brief paragraph. The abstract is a shortcut to the paper, so make sure it's informative.

Introduction - This section is a crucial element of an academic essay and should be intriguing and provide background information on the topic, feeding the readers' curiosity.

Literature with benefits and limitations - This section dives into the existing literature on the research question, including relevant studies and their analyses. When reviewing the literature, it is important to highlight both benefits and limitations of existing studies to identify gaps for future research.

Result analysis - In this section, you should present and analyze the results of your survey paper. Make sure to include statistical data, graphs, and charts to support your conclusions.

Conclusion - Just like in any other thesis writing, here you need to sum up the key findings of your survey paper. How it helped advance the research topic, what limitations need to be addressed, and important implications for future research.

Future Research Direction - You can either give this a separate section or include it in a conclusion, but you can never overlook the importance of a future research direction. Distinctly point out areas of limitations and suggest possible avenues for future research.

References - Finally, be sure to include a list of all the sources/references you've used in your research. Without a list of references, your work will lose all its credibility and can no longer be beneficial to other researchers.

Writing a Good Survey Paper: Helpful Tips

After mastering the basics of how to write a good survey paper, there are a few tips to keep in mind. They will help you advance your writing and ensure your survey paper stands out among others.

How to Write a Survey Paper

Select Only Relevant Literature

When conducting research, one can easily get carried away and start hoarding all available literature, which may not necessarily be relevant to your research question. Make sure to stay within the scope of your topic. Clearly articulate your research question, and then select only literature that directly addresses the research question. A few initial readings might not reveal the relevance, so you need a systematic review and filter of the literature that is directly related to the research question.

Use Various Sources and Be Up-to-Date

Our team suggests only using up-to-date material that was published within the last 5 years. Additional sources may be used if they contribute significantly to the research question, but it is important to prioritize current literature.

Use more than 10 research papers. Though narrowing your pool of references to only relevant literature is important, it's also crucial that you have a sufficient number of sources.

Rely on Reputable Sources

Writing a survey paper is a challenge. Don't forget that it is quality over quantity. Be sure to choose reputable sources that have been peer-reviewed and are recognized within your field of research. Having a large number of various research papers does not mean that your survey paper is of high quality.

Construct a Concise Research Question

Having a short and to-the-point research question not only helps the audience understand the direction of your paper but also helps you stay focused on a clear goal. With a clear research question, you will have an easier time selecting the relevant literature, avoiding unnecessary information, and maintaining the structure of your paper.

Use an Appropriate Format

The scholarly world appreciates when researchers follow a standard format when presenting their survey papers. Therefore, it is important to use a suitable and consistent format that adheres to the guidelines provided by your academic institution or field.

Our paper survey template offers a clear structure that can aid in organizing your thoughts and sources, as well as ensuring that you cover all the necessary components of a survey paper.

Don't forget to use appropriate heading, font, spacing, margins, and referencing style. If there is a strict word limit, be sure to adhere to it and use concise wording.

Use Logical Sequence

A survey paper is different from a regular research paper. Every element of the essay needs to relate to the research question and tie into the overall objective of the paper.

Writing research papers takes a lot of effort and attention to detail. You will have to revise, edit and proofread your work several times. If you are struggling with any aspect of the writing process, just say, ' Write my research paper for me ,' and our team of tireless writers will be happy to assist you.

Starting Point: Survey Paper Example Topics

Learning how to write a survey paper is important, but it is only one aspect of the process.

Now you need a powerful research question. To help get you started, we have compiled a list of survey paper example topics that may inspire you.

  • Survey of Evolution and Challenges of Electronic Search Engines
  • A Comprehensive Survey Paper on Machine Learning Algorithms
  • Survey of Leaf Image Analysis for Plant Species Recognition
  • Advances in Natural Language Processing for Sentiment Analysis
  • Emerging Trends in Cybersecurity Threat Detection
  • A Comprehensive Survey of Techniques in Big Data Analytics in Healthcare
  • A Survey of Advances in Digital Art and Virtual Reality
  • A Systematic Review of the Impact of Social Media Marketing Strategies on Consumer Behavior
  • A Survey of AI Systems in Artistic Expression
  • Exploring New Research Methods and Ethical Considerations in Anthropology
  • Exploring Data-driven Approaches for Performance Analysis and Decision Making in Sports
  • A Survey of Benefits of Optimizing Performance through Diet and Supplementation
  • A Critical Review of Existing Research on The Impact of Climate Change on Biodiversity Conservation Strategies
  • Investigating the Future of Blockchain Technology for Secure Data Sharing
  • A Critical Review of the Literature on Mental Health and Innovation in the Workplace

Final Thoughts

Next time you are asked to write a survey paper, remember it is not just following an iterative process of gathering and summarizing existing research; it requires a deep understanding of the subject matter as well as critical analysis skills. Creative thinking and innovative approaches also play a key role in producing high-quality survey papers.

Our expert writers can help you navigate the complex process of writing a survey paper, from topic selection to data analysis and interpretation.

Finding It Difficult to Write a Survey Paper?

Our essay writing service offers plagiarism-free papers tailored to your specific needs.

Are you looking for advice on how to create an engaging and informative survey paper? This frequently asked questions (FAQ) section offers valuable responses to common inquiries that researchers frequently come across when writing a survey paper. Let's delve into it!

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  • Doing Survey Research | A Step-by-Step Guide & Examples

Doing Survey Research | A Step-by-Step Guide & Examples

Published on 6 May 2022 by Shona McCombes . Revised on 10 October 2022.

Survey research means collecting information about a group of people by asking them questions and analysing the results. To conduct an effective survey, follow these six steps:

  • Determine who will participate in the survey
  • Decide the type of survey (mail, online, or in-person)
  • Design the survey questions and layout
  • Distribute the survey
  • Analyse the responses
  • Write up the results

Surveys are a flexible method of data collection that can be used in many different types of research .

Table of contents

What are surveys used for, step 1: define the population and sample, step 2: decide on the type of survey, step 3: design the survey questions, step 4: distribute the survey and collect responses, step 5: analyse the survey results, step 6: write up the survey results, frequently asked questions about surveys.

Surveys are used as a method of gathering data in many different fields. They are a good choice when you want to find out about the characteristics, preferences, opinions, or beliefs of a group of people.

Common uses of survey research include:

  • Social research: Investigating the experiences and characteristics of different social groups
  • Market research: Finding out what customers think about products, services, and companies
  • Health research: Collecting data from patients about symptoms and treatments
  • Politics: Measuring public opinion about parties and policies
  • Psychology: Researching personality traits, preferences, and behaviours

Surveys can be used in both cross-sectional studies , where you collect data just once, and longitudinal studies , where you survey the same sample several times over an extended period.

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Before you start conducting survey research, you should already have a clear research question that defines what you want to find out. Based on this question, you need to determine exactly who you will target to participate in the survey.


The target population is the specific group of people that you want to find out about. This group can be very broad or relatively narrow. For example:

  • The population of Brazil
  • University students in the UK
  • Second-generation immigrants in the Netherlands
  • Customers of a specific company aged 18 to 24
  • British transgender women over the age of 50

Your survey should aim to produce results that can be generalised to the whole population. That means you need to carefully define exactly who you want to draw conclusions about.

It’s rarely possible to survey the entire population of your research – it would be very difficult to get a response from every person in Brazil or every university student in the UK. Instead, you will usually survey a sample from the population.

The sample size depends on how big the population is. You can use an online sample calculator to work out how many responses you need.

There are many sampling methods that allow you to generalise to broad populations. In general, though, the sample should aim to be representative of the population as a whole. The larger and more representative your sample, the more valid your conclusions.

There are two main types of survey:

  • A questionnaire , where a list of questions is distributed by post, online, or in person, and respondents fill it out themselves
  • An interview , where the researcher asks a set of questions by phone or in person and records the responses

Which type you choose depends on the sample size and location, as well as the focus of the research.


Sending out a paper survey by post is a common method of gathering demographic information (for example, in a government census of the population).

  • You can easily access a large sample.
  • You have some control over who is included in the sample (e.g., residents of a specific region).
  • The response rate is often low.

Online surveys are a popular choice for students doing dissertation research , due to the low cost and flexibility of this method. There are many online tools available for constructing surveys, such as SurveyMonkey and Google Forms .

  • You can quickly access a large sample without constraints on time or location.
  • The data is easy to process and analyse.
  • The anonymity and accessibility of online surveys mean you have less control over who responds.

If your research focuses on a specific location, you can distribute a written questionnaire to be completed by respondents on the spot. For example, you could approach the customers of a shopping centre or ask all students to complete a questionnaire at the end of a class.

  • You can screen respondents to make sure only people in the target population are included in the sample.
  • You can collect time- and location-specific data (e.g., the opinions of a shop’s weekday customers).
  • The sample size will be smaller, so this method is less suitable for collecting data on broad populations.

Oral interviews are a useful method for smaller sample sizes. They allow you to gather more in-depth information on people’s opinions and preferences. You can conduct interviews by phone or in person.

  • You have personal contact with respondents, so you know exactly who will be included in the sample in advance.
  • You can clarify questions and ask for follow-up information when necessary.
  • The lack of anonymity may cause respondents to answer less honestly, and there is more risk of researcher bias.

Like questionnaires, interviews can be used to collect quantitative data : the researcher records each response as a category or rating and statistically analyses the results. But they are more commonly used to collect qualitative data : the interviewees’ full responses are transcribed and analysed individually to gain a richer understanding of their opinions and feelings.

Next, you need to decide which questions you will ask and how you will ask them. It’s important to consider:

  • The type of questions
  • The content of the questions
  • The phrasing of the questions
  • The ordering and layout of the survey

Open-ended vs closed-ended questions

There are two main forms of survey questions: open-ended and closed-ended. Many surveys use a combination of both.

Closed-ended questions give the respondent a predetermined set of answers to choose from. A closed-ended question can include:

  • A binary answer (e.g., yes/no or agree/disagree )
  • A scale (e.g., a Likert scale with five points ranging from strongly agree to strongly disagree )
  • A list of options with a single answer possible (e.g., age categories)
  • A list of options with multiple answers possible (e.g., leisure interests)

Closed-ended questions are best for quantitative research . They provide you with numerical data that can be statistically analysed to find patterns, trends, and correlations .

Open-ended questions are best for qualitative research. This type of question has no predetermined answers to choose from. Instead, the respondent answers in their own words.

Open questions are most common in interviews, but you can also use them in questionnaires. They are often useful as follow-up questions to ask for more detailed explanations of responses to the closed questions.

The content of the survey questions

To ensure the validity and reliability of your results, you need to carefully consider each question in the survey. All questions should be narrowly focused with enough context for the respondent to answer accurately. Avoid questions that are not directly relevant to the survey’s purpose.

When constructing closed-ended questions, ensure that the options cover all possibilities. If you include a list of options that isn’t exhaustive, you can add an ‘other’ field.

Phrasing the survey questions

In terms of language, the survey questions should be as clear and precise as possible. Tailor the questions to your target population, keeping in mind their level of knowledge of the topic.

Use language that respondents will easily understand, and avoid words with vague or ambiguous meanings. Make sure your questions are phrased neutrally, with no bias towards one answer or another.

Ordering the survey questions

The questions should be arranged in a logical order. Start with easy, non-sensitive, closed-ended questions that will encourage the respondent to continue.

If the survey covers several different topics or themes, group together related questions. You can divide a questionnaire into sections to help respondents understand what is being asked in each part.

If a question refers back to or depends on the answer to a previous question, they should be placed directly next to one another.

Before you start, create a clear plan for where, when, how, and with whom you will conduct the survey. Determine in advance how many responses you require and how you will gain access to the sample.

When you are satisfied that you have created a strong research design suitable for answering your research questions, you can conduct the survey through your method of choice – by post, online, or in person.

There are many methods of analysing the results of your survey. First you have to process the data, usually with the help of a computer program to sort all the responses. You should also cleanse the data by removing incomplete or incorrectly completed responses.

If you asked open-ended questions, you will have to code the responses by assigning labels to each response and organising them into categories or themes. You can also use more qualitative methods, such as thematic analysis , which is especially suitable for analysing interviews.

Statistical analysis is usually conducted using programs like SPSS or Stata. The same set of survey data can be subject to many analyses.

Finally, when you have collected and analysed all the necessary data, you will write it up as part of your thesis, dissertation , or research paper .

In the methodology section, you describe exactly how you conducted the survey. You should explain the types of questions you used, the sampling method, when and where the survey took place, and the response rate. You can include the full questionnaire as an appendix and refer to it in the text if relevant.

Then introduce the analysis by describing how you prepared the data and the statistical methods you used to analyse it. In the results section, you summarise the key results from your analysis.

A Likert scale is a rating scale that quantitatively assesses opinions, attitudes, or behaviours. It is made up of four or more questions that measure a single attitude or trait when response scores are combined.

To use a Likert scale in a survey , you present participants with Likert-type questions or statements, and a continuum of items, usually with five or seven possible responses, to capture their degree of agreement.

Individual Likert-type questions are generally considered ordinal data , because the items have clear rank order, but don’t have an even distribution.

Overall Likert scale scores are sometimes treated as interval data. These scores are considered to have directionality and even spacing between them.

The type of data determines what statistical tests you should use to analyse your data.

A questionnaire is a data collection tool or instrument, while a survey is an overarching research method that involves collecting and analysing data from people using questionnaires.

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Research Method

Home » Survey Research – Types, Methods, Examples

Survey Research – Types, Methods, Examples

Table of Contents

Survey Research

Survey Research


Survey Research is a quantitative research method that involves collecting standardized data from a sample of individuals or groups through the use of structured questionnaires or interviews. The data collected is then analyzed statistically to identify patterns and relationships between variables, and to draw conclusions about the population being studied.

Survey research can be used to answer a variety of questions, including:

  • What are people’s opinions about a certain topic?
  • What are people’s experiences with a certain product or service?
  • What are people’s beliefs about a certain issue?

Survey Research Methods

Survey Research Methods are as follows:

  • Telephone surveys: A survey research method where questions are administered to respondents over the phone, often used in market research or political polling.
  • Face-to-face surveys: A survey research method where questions are administered to respondents in person, often used in social or health research.
  • Mail surveys: A survey research method where questionnaires are sent to respondents through mail, often used in customer satisfaction or opinion surveys.
  • Online surveys: A survey research method where questions are administered to respondents through online platforms, often used in market research or customer feedback.
  • Email surveys: A survey research method where questionnaires are sent to respondents through email, often used in customer satisfaction or opinion surveys.
  • Mixed-mode surveys: A survey research method that combines two or more survey modes, often used to increase response rates or reach diverse populations.
  • Computer-assisted surveys: A survey research method that uses computer technology to administer or collect survey data, often used in large-scale surveys or data collection.
  • Interactive voice response surveys: A survey research method where respondents answer questions through a touch-tone telephone system, often used in automated customer satisfaction or opinion surveys.
  • Mobile surveys: A survey research method where questions are administered to respondents through mobile devices, often used in market research or customer feedback.
  • Group-administered surveys: A survey research method where questions are administered to a group of respondents simultaneously, often used in education or training evaluation.
  • Web-intercept surveys: A survey research method where questions are administered to website visitors, often used in website or user experience research.
  • In-app surveys: A survey research method where questions are administered to users of a mobile application, often used in mobile app or user experience research.
  • Social media surveys: A survey research method where questions are administered to respondents through social media platforms, often used in social media or brand awareness research.
  • SMS surveys: A survey research method where questions are administered to respondents through text messaging, often used in customer feedback or opinion surveys.
  • IVR surveys: A survey research method where questions are administered to respondents through an interactive voice response system, often used in automated customer feedback or opinion surveys.
  • Mixed-method surveys: A survey research method that combines both qualitative and quantitative data collection methods, often used in exploratory or mixed-method research.
  • Drop-off surveys: A survey research method where respondents are provided with a survey questionnaire and asked to return it at a later time or through a designated drop-off location.
  • Intercept surveys: A survey research method where respondents are approached in public places and asked to participate in a survey, often used in market research or customer feedback.
  • Hybrid surveys: A survey research method that combines two or more survey modes, data sources, or research methods, often used in complex or multi-dimensional research questions.

Types of Survey Research

There are several types of survey research that can be used to collect data from a sample of individuals or groups. following are Types of Survey Research:

  • Cross-sectional survey: A type of survey research that gathers data from a sample of individuals at a specific point in time, providing a snapshot of the population being studied.
  • Longitudinal survey: A type of survey research that gathers data from the same sample of individuals over an extended period of time, allowing researchers to track changes or trends in the population being studied.
  • Panel survey: A type of longitudinal survey research that tracks the same sample of individuals over time, typically collecting data at multiple points in time.
  • Epidemiological survey: A type of survey research that studies the distribution and determinants of health and disease in a population, often used to identify risk factors and inform public health interventions.
  • Observational survey: A type of survey research that collects data through direct observation of individuals or groups, often used in behavioral or social research.
  • Correlational survey: A type of survey research that measures the degree of association or relationship between two or more variables, often used to identify patterns or trends in data.
  • Experimental survey: A type of survey research that involves manipulating one or more variables to observe the effect on an outcome, often used to test causal hypotheses.
  • Descriptive survey: A type of survey research that describes the characteristics or attributes of a population or phenomenon, often used in exploratory research or to summarize existing data.
  • Diagnostic survey: A type of survey research that assesses the current state or condition of an individual or system, often used in health or organizational research.
  • Explanatory survey: A type of survey research that seeks to explain or understand the causes or mechanisms behind a phenomenon, often used in social or psychological research.
  • Process evaluation survey: A type of survey research that measures the implementation and outcomes of a program or intervention, often used in program evaluation or quality improvement.
  • Impact evaluation survey: A type of survey research that assesses the effectiveness or impact of a program or intervention, often used to inform policy or decision-making.
  • Customer satisfaction survey: A type of survey research that measures the satisfaction or dissatisfaction of customers with a product, service, or experience, often used in marketing or customer service research.
  • Market research survey: A type of survey research that collects data on consumer preferences, behaviors, or attitudes, often used in market research or product development.
  • Public opinion survey: A type of survey research that measures the attitudes, beliefs, or opinions of a population on a specific issue or topic, often used in political or social research.
  • Behavioral survey: A type of survey research that measures actual behavior or actions of individuals, often used in health or social research.
  • Attitude survey: A type of survey research that measures the attitudes, beliefs, or opinions of individuals, often used in social or psychological research.
  • Opinion poll: A type of survey research that measures the opinions or preferences of a population on a specific issue or topic, often used in political or media research.
  • Ad hoc survey: A type of survey research that is conducted for a specific purpose or research question, often used in exploratory research or to answer a specific research question.

Types Based on Methodology

Based on Methodology Survey are divided into two Types:

Quantitative Survey Research

Qualitative survey research.

Quantitative survey research is a method of collecting numerical data from a sample of participants through the use of standardized surveys or questionnaires. The purpose of quantitative survey research is to gather empirical evidence that can be analyzed statistically to draw conclusions about a particular population or phenomenon.

In quantitative survey research, the questions are structured and pre-determined, often utilizing closed-ended questions, where participants are given a limited set of response options to choose from. This approach allows for efficient data collection and analysis, as well as the ability to generalize the findings to a larger population.

Quantitative survey research is often used in market research, social sciences, public health, and other fields where numerical data is needed to make informed decisions and recommendations.

Qualitative survey research is a method of collecting non-numerical data from a sample of participants through the use of open-ended questions or semi-structured interviews. The purpose of qualitative survey research is to gain a deeper understanding of the experiences, perceptions, and attitudes of participants towards a particular phenomenon or topic.

In qualitative survey research, the questions are open-ended, allowing participants to share their thoughts and experiences in their own words. This approach allows for a rich and nuanced understanding of the topic being studied, and can provide insights that are difficult to capture through quantitative methods alone.

Qualitative survey research is often used in social sciences, education, psychology, and other fields where a deeper understanding of human experiences and perceptions is needed to inform policy, practice, or theory.

Data Analysis Methods

There are several Survey Research Data Analysis Methods that researchers may use, including:

  • Descriptive statistics: This method is used to summarize and describe the basic features of the survey data, such as the mean, median, mode, and standard deviation. These statistics can help researchers understand the distribution of responses and identify any trends or patterns.
  • Inferential statistics: This method is used to make inferences about the larger population based on the data collected in the survey. Common inferential statistical methods include hypothesis testing, regression analysis, and correlation analysis.
  • Factor analysis: This method is used to identify underlying factors or dimensions in the survey data. This can help researchers simplify the data and identify patterns and relationships that may not be immediately apparent.
  • Cluster analysis: This method is used to group similar respondents together based on their survey responses. This can help researchers identify subgroups within the larger population and understand how different groups may differ in their attitudes, behaviors, or preferences.
  • Structural equation modeling: This method is used to test complex relationships between variables in the survey data. It can help researchers understand how different variables may be related to one another and how they may influence one another.
  • Content analysis: This method is used to analyze open-ended responses in the survey data. Researchers may use software to identify themes or categories in the responses, or they may manually review and code the responses.
  • Text mining: This method is used to analyze text-based survey data, such as responses to open-ended questions. Researchers may use software to identify patterns and themes in the text, or they may manually review and code the text.

Applications of Survey Research

Here are some common applications of survey research:

  • Market Research: Companies use survey research to gather insights about customer needs, preferences, and behavior. These insights are used to create marketing strategies and develop new products.
  • Public Opinion Research: Governments and political parties use survey research to understand public opinion on various issues. This information is used to develop policies and make decisions.
  • Social Research: Survey research is used in social research to study social trends, attitudes, and behavior. Researchers use survey data to explore topics such as education, health, and social inequality.
  • Academic Research: Survey research is used in academic research to study various phenomena. Researchers use survey data to test theories, explore relationships between variables, and draw conclusions.
  • Customer Satisfaction Research: Companies use survey research to gather information about customer satisfaction with their products and services. This information is used to improve customer experience and retention.
  • Employee Surveys: Employers use survey research to gather feedback from employees about their job satisfaction, working conditions, and organizational culture. This information is used to improve employee retention and productivity.
  • Health Research: Survey research is used in health research to study topics such as disease prevalence, health behaviors, and healthcare access. Researchers use survey data to develop interventions and improve healthcare outcomes.

Examples of Survey Research

Here are some real-time examples of survey research:

  • COVID-19 Pandemic Surveys: Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, surveys have been conducted to gather information about public attitudes, behaviors, and perceptions related to the pandemic. Governments and healthcare organizations have used this data to develop public health strategies and messaging.
  • Political Polls During Elections: During election seasons, surveys are used to measure public opinion on political candidates, policies, and issues in real-time. This information is used by political parties to develop campaign strategies and make decisions.
  • Customer Feedback Surveys: Companies often use real-time customer feedback surveys to gather insights about customer experience and satisfaction. This information is used to improve products and services quickly.
  • Event Surveys: Organizers of events such as conferences and trade shows often use surveys to gather feedback from attendees in real-time. This information can be used to improve future events and make adjustments during the current event.
  • Website and App Surveys: Website and app owners use surveys to gather real-time feedback from users about the functionality, user experience, and overall satisfaction with their platforms. This feedback can be used to improve the user experience and retain customers.
  • Employee Pulse Surveys: Employers use real-time pulse surveys to gather feedback from employees about their work experience and overall job satisfaction. This feedback is used to make changes in real-time to improve employee retention and productivity.

Survey Sample

Purpose of survey research.

The purpose of survey research is to gather data and insights from a representative sample of individuals. Survey research allows researchers to collect data quickly and efficiently from a large number of people, making it a valuable tool for understanding attitudes, behaviors, and preferences.

Here are some common purposes of survey research:

  • Descriptive Research: Survey research is often used to describe characteristics of a population or a phenomenon. For example, a survey could be used to describe the characteristics of a particular demographic group, such as age, gender, or income.
  • Exploratory Research: Survey research can be used to explore new topics or areas of research. Exploratory surveys are often used to generate hypotheses or identify potential relationships between variables.
  • Explanatory Research: Survey research can be used to explain relationships between variables. For example, a survey could be used to determine whether there is a relationship between educational attainment and income.
  • Evaluation Research: Survey research can be used to evaluate the effectiveness of a program or intervention. For example, a survey could be used to evaluate the impact of a health education program on behavior change.
  • Monitoring Research: Survey research can be used to monitor trends or changes over time. For example, a survey could be used to monitor changes in attitudes towards climate change or political candidates over time.

When to use Survey Research

there are certain circumstances where survey research is particularly appropriate. Here are some situations where survey research may be useful:

  • When the research question involves attitudes, beliefs, or opinions: Survey research is particularly useful for understanding attitudes, beliefs, and opinions on a particular topic. For example, a survey could be used to understand public opinion on a political issue.
  • When the research question involves behaviors or experiences: Survey research can also be useful for understanding behaviors and experiences. For example, a survey could be used to understand the prevalence of a particular health behavior.
  • When a large sample size is needed: Survey research allows researchers to collect data from a large number of people quickly and efficiently. This makes it a useful method when a large sample size is needed to ensure statistical validity.
  • When the research question is time-sensitive: Survey research can be conducted quickly, which makes it a useful method when the research question is time-sensitive. For example, a survey could be used to understand public opinion on a breaking news story.
  • When the research question involves a geographically dispersed population: Survey research can be conducted online, which makes it a useful method when the population of interest is geographically dispersed.

How to Conduct Survey Research

Conducting survey research involves several steps that need to be carefully planned and executed. Here is a general overview of the process:

  • Define the research question: The first step in conducting survey research is to clearly define the research question. The research question should be specific, measurable, and relevant to the population of interest.
  • Develop a survey instrument : The next step is to develop a survey instrument. This can be done using various methods, such as online survey tools or paper surveys. The survey instrument should be designed to elicit the information needed to answer the research question, and should be pre-tested with a small sample of individuals.
  • Select a sample : The sample is the group of individuals who will be invited to participate in the survey. The sample should be representative of the population of interest, and the size of the sample should be sufficient to ensure statistical validity.
  • Administer the survey: The survey can be administered in various ways, such as online, by mail, or in person. The method of administration should be chosen based on the population of interest and the research question.
  • Analyze the data: Once the survey data is collected, it needs to be analyzed. This involves summarizing the data using statistical methods, such as frequency distributions or regression analysis.
  • Draw conclusions: The final step is to draw conclusions based on the data analysis. This involves interpreting the results and answering the research question.

Advantages of Survey Research

There are several advantages to using survey research, including:

  • Efficient data collection: Survey research allows researchers to collect data quickly and efficiently from a large number of people. This makes it a useful method for gathering information on a wide range of topics.
  • Standardized data collection: Surveys are typically standardized, which means that all participants receive the same questions in the same order. This ensures that the data collected is consistent and reliable.
  • Cost-effective: Surveys can be conducted online, by mail, or in person, which makes them a cost-effective method of data collection.
  • Anonymity: Participants can remain anonymous when responding to a survey. This can encourage participants to be more honest and open in their responses.
  • Easy comparison: Surveys allow for easy comparison of data between different groups or over time. This makes it possible to identify trends and patterns in the data.
  • Versatility: Surveys can be used to collect data on a wide range of topics, including attitudes, beliefs, behaviors, and preferences.

Limitations of Survey Research

Here are some of the main limitations of survey research:

  • Limited depth: Surveys are typically designed to collect quantitative data, which means that they do not provide much depth or detail about people’s experiences or opinions. This can limit the insights that can be gained from the data.
  • Potential for bias: Surveys can be affected by various biases, including selection bias, response bias, and social desirability bias. These biases can distort the results and make them less accurate.
  • L imited validity: Surveys are only as valid as the questions they ask. If the questions are poorly designed or ambiguous, the results may not accurately reflect the respondents’ attitudes or behaviors.
  • Limited generalizability : Survey results are only generalizable to the population from which the sample was drawn. If the sample is not representative of the population, the results may not be generalizable to the larger population.
  • Limited ability to capture context: Surveys typically do not capture the context in which attitudes or behaviors occur. This can make it difficult to understand the reasons behind the responses.
  • Limited ability to capture complex phenomena: Surveys are not well-suited to capture complex phenomena, such as emotions or the dynamics of interpersonal relationships.

Following is an example of a Survey Sample:

Welcome to our Survey Research Page! We value your opinions and appreciate your participation in this survey. Please answer the questions below as honestly and thoroughly as possible.

1. What is your age?

  • A) Under 18
  • G) 65 or older

2. What is your highest level of education completed?

  • A) Less than high school
  • B) High school or equivalent
  • C) Some college or technical school
  • D) Bachelor’s degree
  • E) Graduate or professional degree

3. What is your current employment status?

  • A) Employed full-time
  • B) Employed part-time
  • C) Self-employed
  • D) Unemployed

4. How often do you use the internet per day?

  •  A) Less than 1 hour
  • B) 1-3 hours
  • C) 3-5 hours
  • D) 5-7 hours
  • E) More than 7 hours

5. How often do you engage in social media per day?

6. Have you ever participated in a survey research study before?

7. If you have participated in a survey research study before, how was your experience?

  • A) Excellent
  • E) Very poor

8. What are some of the topics that you would be interested in participating in a survey research study about?


9. How often would you be willing to participate in survey research studies?

  • A) Once a week
  • B) Once a month
  • C) Once every 6 months
  • D) Once a year

10. Any additional comments or suggestions?

Thank you for taking the time to complete this survey. Your feedback is important to us and will help us improve our survey research efforts.

About the author

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Muhammad Hassan

Researcher, Academic Writer, Web developer

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Research surveys: Examples, templates, and types

Research surveys help you base your next important decision on data.

They provide data that can be relied on. Whether conducting market research or preparing a new product launch, research surveys supply the precise information that is needed to succeed. Avoid the confusion of conflicting opinions with data analysis that provides a clear picture of what people think.

At SurveyPlanet, we’re committed to making research surveys easy to conduct. With our research survey templates, you’ll have access to questions that will deliver the data you need.

The wide variety of research survey templates available is the avenue by which to get useful data quickly—which makes developing solutions easier. Survey research can provide you with data you can rely on.

The wide variety of research survey templates available allows you to get useful data quickly and develop the correct solution. Research surveys can provide you with data you can rely on. Whether conducting market research or preparing to launch a new product, research surveys tell you precisely what you need to know. You won't be confused with conflicting opinions because analyzing data from this type of study will provide a clear picture of what people think. At SurveyPlanet, we're committed to making research surveys easy to conduct, and with our research survey templates, you'll know exactly what to ask.

What are research questionnaires?

Research questionnaires are a tool that will return insights about any topic. Just asking friends, family, and coworkers about the new product is not the best approach. Why? To put it simply, they're not a representative sample and may have biases.

You need to get the opinions of your target audience. At the end of the day, it is their opinion that matters most. And a large enough sample is required to produce statistically significant data. That's where online research surveys play an important role.

The research survey application

Research methods are designed to produce the best information from a group of research subjects (aka, the focus group). Such methods are used in many types of research and studies and are methodologies you can use for research study and data collection.

Depending on the kind of research and research methodology being carried out, different types of research survey questions are used, including multiple choice questions , Likert scale questions , open-ended questions, demographic questions , and even image choice questions .

There are many research survey applications. You can collect survey data from many customers quickly and easily—a great way to collect information about products, services, customer experience, and marketing efforts.

Types of research surveys

Research questionnaires are a great tool to gain insights about all kinds of things (and not just business purposes). Let's dive deeper into the types of research surveys and where you can apply them to get the best results.

Market research survey

Most businesses fail because there is a belief that their products and services are great—while the market thinks otherwise. To sell anything, the opinions of the people that might buy it need to be understood. Market research surveys offer insights about where a business stands with potential customers—and its potential market share—long before resources are dedicated to trying to make a product work in the marketplace.

Learn more about market research surveys

Media consumption research survey

A media consumption research survey explores how different people consume media content. It provides answers about what they view, how often, and what kind of media they prefer. With a media consumption research survey, learn everything about people's media consumption habits.

Reading preferences research survey

Product research survey.

When launching a new product, understanding what the target audience thinks is crucial. A product research survey is a great tool, providing valuable feedback and insight that can be incorporated into a successful product launch.

Learn more about product research survey

Brand surveys

Brand surveys help ascertain how customers feel about their experience with your brand. People buy from the brands they connect with; therefore, ask about their experience and occasionally check in with them to see if they trust your brand.

Learn more about brand surveys

Path-to-purchase research survey

A path-to-purchase research survey is a study that investigates the steps consumers takes from initial product awareness to final purchase. This type of survey typically includes questions about the decision-making process, product research, and the factors that influence the final decision. It can be conducted through various methods, but the best way is with online surveys! Path-to-purchase survey results help businesses and marketers understand their target audience and develop effective marketing strategies.

Marketing research survey

Online marketing surveys help a company stand out from its competitors and tailor marketing messages that will better resonate with a target audience. Market research surveys are another type of marketing research that is crucial when launching a new product or service on the market.

Learn more about marketing research surveys

Academic research survey

Academic research surveys are instrumental in improving your knowledge about a specific subject. The consolidated results can be used to improve the efficiency of decision-making. Reliable results are produced using methodologies and tools like questionnaires, surveys, interviews, and structured online forms.

Learn more about academic surveys.

Benefits of research questionnaires

The power of research questionnaires lies in their ease of use and cost-effectiveness. They provide answers to the most vital questions. What are the main benefits of research surveys?

  • You don't have to wonder WHO, WHAT, and WHY because this type of analysis gives you answers to those—and many more—questions.
  • With a complete understanding of what's important in a research project, the best inquiries can be incorporated into research survey questions.
  • Get an unbiased opinion from your target audience and use it to your advantage.
  • Collect data that matters and have it at your fingertips at all times.

Advantages and disadvantages of research surveys

People use research surveys because they have many advantages compared to other research tools. What are the main advantages?

  • Cost-effective.
  • Collect data from many respondents.
  • Convenient.
  • The most practical solution for gathering data.
  • Fast and reliable.
  • Easily comparable results.
  • Allows for the exploration of any topic.

While such advantages make it a no-brainer to use research questionnaires, it's always good to know their disadvantages:

  • Biased responses
  • Cultural differences in understanding questions.
  • Analyzing and understanding responses can be difficult.
  • Some people won't read the questions before answering.
  • Survey fatigue.

However, when aware of these analysis issues, mitigation strategies can be activated. Every research method has flaws, but we strongly believe the benefits of research surveys outweigh their disadvantages.

To execute a research campaign, the creation of a research survey is one of the first steps. This includes designing questions or using a premade template. Below are some of the best research survey examples, templates, and tips for designing a research survey.

Research survey examples and templates

Specific research survey questions depend on your goals. A research questionnaire can be conducted about any topic or interest. Here are some of the best research survey questions:

  • How often do you purchase books without actually reading them?
  • What is your favorite foreign language film?
  • During an average day, how many times do you check the news?
  • Who is your favorite football player of all time? Why?
  • Have you ever used any of the following travel websites to plan a vacation?
  • Do you currently use a similar or competing product?
  • What is your single favorite feature of our product?
  • When our product becomes available, are you likely to use it instead of a similar or competing product?

Of course, you should always add demographic questions like:

  • Marital status
  • Household income

No matter what’s the topic of your research questionnaire, these demographic questions will help you draw better data-driven conclusions. Interested in knowing more about demographic survey questions? Check out our blog post that explains the advantages of gathering demographic information and how to do it appropriately.

Sign up for SurveyPlanet for free and conduct your first research survey to explore what people think. You don't have to worry about questions because we have some amazing research survey templates to get you started!

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What is survey research.

15 min read Find out everything you need to know about survey research, from what it is and how it works to the different methods and tools you can use to ensure you’re successful.

Survey research is the process of collecting data from a predefined group (e.g. customers or potential customers) with the ultimate goal of uncovering insights about your products, services, or brand overall .

As a quantitative data collection method, survey research can provide you with a goldmine of information that can inform crucial business and product decisions. But survey research needs careful planning and execution to get the results you want.

So if you’re thinking about using surveys to carry out research, read on.

Get started with our free survey maker tool

Types of survey research

Calling these methods ‘survey research’ slightly underplays the complexity of this type of information gathering. From the expertise required to carry out each activity to the analysis of the data and its eventual application, a considerable amount of effort is required.

As for how you can carry out your research, there are several options to choose from — face-to-face interviews, telephone surveys, focus groups (though more interviews than surveys), online surveys , and panel surveys.

Typically, the survey method you choose will largely be guided by who you want to survey, the size of your sample , your budget, and the type of information you’re hoping to gather.

Here are a few of the most-used survey types:

Face-to-face interviews

Before technology made it possible to conduct research using online surveys, telephone, and mail were the most popular methods for survey research. However face-to-face interviews were considered the gold standard — the only reason they weren’t as popular was due to their highly prohibitive costs.

When it came to face-to-face interviews, organizations would use highly trained researchers who knew when to probe or follow up on vague or problematic answers. They also knew when to offer assistance to respondents when they seemed to be struggling. The result was that these interviewers could get sample members to participate and engage in surveys in the most effective way possible, leading to higher response rates and better quality data.

Telephone surveys

While phone surveys have been popular in the past, particularly for measuring general consumer behavior or beliefs, response rates have been declining since the 1990s .

Phone surveys are usually conducted using a random dialing system and software that a researcher can use to record responses.

This method is beneficial when you want to survey a large population but don’t have the resources to conduct face-to-face research surveys or run focus groups, or want to ask multiple-choice and open-ended questions .

The downsides are they can: take a long time to complete depending on the response rate, and you may have to do a lot of cold-calling to get the information you need.

You also run the risk of respondents not being completely honest . Instead, they’ll answer your survey questions quickly just to get off the phone.

Focus groups (interviews — not surveys)

Focus groups are a separate qualitative methodology rather than surveys — even though they’re often bunched together. They’re normally used for survey pretesting and designing , but they’re also a great way to generate opinions and data from a diverse range of people.

Focus groups involve putting a cohort of demographically or socially diverse people in a room with a moderator and engaging them in a discussion on a particular topic, such as your product, brand, or service.

They remain a highly popular method for market research , but they’re expensive and require a lot of administration to conduct and analyze the data properly.

You also run the risk of more dominant members of the group taking over the discussion and swaying the opinions of other people — potentially providing you with unreliable data.

Online surveys

Online surveys have become one of the most popular survey methods due to being cost-effective, enabling researchers to accurately survey a large population quickly.

Online surveys can essentially be used by anyone for any research purpose – we’ve all seen the increasing popularity of polls on social media (although these are not scientific).

Using an online survey allows you to ask a series of different question types and collect data instantly that’s easy to analyze with the right software.

There are also several methods for running and distributing online surveys that allow you to get your questionnaire in front of a large population at a fraction of the cost of face-to-face interviews or focus groups.

This is particularly true when it comes to mobile surveys as most people with a smartphone can access them online.

However, you have to be aware of the potential dangers of using online surveys, particularly when it comes to the survey respondents. The biggest risk is because online surveys require access to a computer or mobile device to complete, they could exclude elderly members of the population who don’t have access to the technology — or don’t know how to use it.

It could also exclude those from poorer socio-economic backgrounds who can’t afford a computer or consistent internet access. This could mean the data collected is more biased towards a certain group and can lead to less accurate data when you’re looking for a representative population sample.

When it comes to surveys, every voice matters.

Find out how to create more inclusive and representative surveys for your research.

Panel surveys

A panel survey involves recruiting respondents who have specifically signed up to answer questionnaires and who are put on a list by a research company. This could be a workforce of a small company or a major subset of a national population. Usually, these groups are carefully selected so that they represent a sample of your target population — giving you balance across criteria such as age, gender, background, and so on.

Panel surveys give you access to the respondents you need and are usually provided by the research company in question. As a result, it’s much easier to get access to the right audiences as you just need to tell the research company your criteria. They’ll then determine the right panels to use to answer your questionnaire.

However, there are downsides. The main one being that if the research company offers its panels incentives, e.g. discounts, coupons, money — respondents may answer a lot of questionnaires just for the benefits.

This might mean they rush through your survey without providing considered and truthful answers. As a consequence, this can damage the credibility of your data and potentially ruin your analyses.

What are the benefits of using survey research?

Depending on the research method you use, there are lots of benefits to conducting survey research for data collection. Here, we cover a few:

1.   They’re relatively easy to do

Most research surveys are easy to set up, administer and analyze. As long as the planning and survey design is thorough and you target the right audience , the data collection is usually straightforward regardless of which survey type you use.

2.   They can be cost effective

Survey research can be relatively cheap depending on the type of survey you use.

Generally, qualitative research methods that require access to people in person or over the phone are more expensive and require more administration.

Online surveys or mobile surveys are often more cost-effective for market research and can give you access to the global population for a fraction of the cost.

3.   You can collect data from a large sample

Again, depending on the type of survey, you can obtain survey results from an entire population at a relatively low price. You can also administer a large variety of survey types to fit the project you’re running.

4.   You can use survey software to analyze results immediately

Using survey software, you can use advanced statistical analysis techniques to gain insights into your responses immediately.

Analysis can be conducted using a variety of parameters to determine the validity and reliability of your survey data at scale.

5.   Surveys can collect any type of data

While most people view surveys as a quantitative research method, they can just as easily be adapted to gain qualitative information by simply including open-ended questions or conducting interviews face to face.

How to measure concepts with survey questions

While surveys are a great way to obtain data, that data on its own is useless unless it can be analyzed and developed into actionable insights.

The easiest, and most effective way to measure survey results, is to use a dedicated research tool that puts all of your survey results into one place.

When it comes to survey measurement, there are four measurement types to be aware of that will determine how you treat your different survey results:

Nominal scale

With a nominal scale , you can only keep track of how many respondents chose each option from a question, and which response generated the most selections.

An example of this would be simply asking a responder to choose a product or brand from a list.

You could find out which brand was chosen the most but have no insight as to why.

Ordinal scale

Ordinal scales are used to judge an order of preference. They do provide some level of quantitative value because you’re asking responders to choose a preference of one option over another.

Ratio scale

Ratio scales can be used to judge the order and difference between responses. For example, asking respondents how much they spend on their weekly shopping on average.

Interval scale

In an interval scale, values are lined up in order with a meaningful difference between the two values — for example, measuring temperature or measuring a credit score between one value and another.

Step by step: How to conduct surveys and collect data

Conducting a survey and collecting data is relatively straightforward, but it does require some careful planning and design to ensure it results in reliable data.

Step 1 – Define your objectives

What do you want to learn from the survey? How is the data going to help you? Having a hypothesis or series of assumptions about survey responses will allow you to create the right questions to test them.

Step 2 – Create your survey questions

Once you’ve got your hypotheses or assumptions, write out the questions you need answering to test your theories or beliefs. Be wary about framing questions that could lead respondents or inadvertently create biased responses .

Step 3 – Choose your question types

Your survey should include a variety of question types and should aim to obtain quantitative data with some qualitative responses from open-ended questions. Using a mix of questions (simple Yes/ No, multiple-choice, rank in order, etc) not only increases the reliability of your data but also reduces survey fatigue and respondents simply answering questions quickly without thinking.

Find out how to create a survey that’s easy to engage with

Step 4 – Test your questions

Before sending your questionnaire out, you should test it (e.g. have a random internal group do the survey) and carry out A/B tests to ensure you’ll gain accurate responses.

Step 5 – Choose your target and send out the survey

Depending on your objectives, you might want to target the general population with your survey or a specific segment of the population. Once you’ve narrowed down who you want to target, it’s time to send out the survey.

After you’ve deployed the survey, keep an eye on the response rate to ensure you’re getting the number you expected. If your response rate is low, you might need to send the survey out to a second group to obtain a large enough sample — or do some troubleshooting to work out why your response rates are so low. This could be down to your questions, delivery method, selected sample, or otherwise.

Step 6 – Analyze results and draw conclusions

Once you’ve got your results back, it’s time for the fun part.

Break down your survey responses using the parameters you’ve set in your objectives and analyze the data to compare to your original assumptions. At this stage, a research tool or software can make the analysis a lot easier — and that’s somewhere Qualtrics can help.

Get reliable insights with survey software from Qualtrics

Gaining feedback from customers and leads is critical for any business, data gathered from surveys can prove invaluable for understanding your products and your market position, and with survey software from Qualtrics, it couldn’t be easier.

Used by more than 13,000 brands and supporting more than 1 billion surveys a year, Qualtrics empowers everyone in your organization to gather insights and take action. No coding required — and your data is housed in one system.

Get feedback from more than 125 sources on a single platform and view and measure your data in one place to create actionable insights and gain a deeper understanding of your target customers .

Automatically run complex text and statistical analysis to uncover exactly what your survey data is telling you, so you can react in real-time and make smarter decisions.

We can help you with survey management, too. From designing your survey and finding your target respondents to getting your survey in the field and reporting back on the results, we can help you every step of the way.

And for expert market researchers and survey designers, Qualtrics features custom programming to give you total flexibility over question types, survey design, embedded data, and other variables.

No matter what type of survey you want to run, what target audience you want to reach, or what assumptions you want to test or answers you want to uncover, we’ll help you design, deploy and analyze your survey with our team of experts.

Ready to find out more about Qualtrics CoreXM?

Get started with our free survey maker tool today

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A Comprehensive Guide to Survey Research Methodologies

For decades, researchers and businesses have used survey research to produce statistical data and explore ideas. The survey process is simple, ask questions and analyze the responses to make decisions. Data is what makes the difference between a valid and invalid statement and as the American statistician, W. Edwards Deming said:

“Without data, you’re just another person with an opinion.” - W. Edwards Deming

In this article, we will discuss what survey research is, its brief history, types, common uses, benefits, and the step-by-step process of designing a survey.

What is Survey Research

A survey is a research method that is used to collect data from a group of respondents in order to gain insights and information regarding a particular subject. It’s an excellent method to gather opinions and understand how and why people feel a certain way about different situations and contexts.

Brief History of Survey Research

Survey research may have its roots in the American and English “social surveys” conducted around the turn of the 20th century. The surveys were mainly conducted by researchers and reformers to document the extent of social issues such as poverty. ( 1 ) Despite being a relatively young field to many scientific domains, survey research has experienced three stages of development ( 2 ):

-       First Era (1930-1960)

-       Second Era (1960-1990)

-       Third Era (1990 onwards)

Over the years, survey research adapted to the changing times and technologies. By exploiting the latest technologies, researchers can gain access to the right population from anywhere in the world, analyze the data like never before, and extract useful information.

Survey Research Methods & Types

Survey research can be classified into seven categories based on objective, data sources, methodology, deployment method, and frequency of deployment.

Types of survey research based on objective, data source, methodology, deployment method, and frequency of deployment.

Surveys based on Objective

Exploratory survey research.

Exploratory survey research is aimed at diving deeper into research subjects and finding out more about their context. It’s important for marketing or business strategy and the focus is to discover ideas and insights instead of gathering statistical data.

Generally, exploratory survey research is composed of open-ended questions that allow respondents to express their thoughts and perspectives. The final responses present information from various sources that can lead to fresh initiatives.

Predictive Survey Research

Predictive survey research is also called causal survey research. It’s preplanned, structured, and quantitative in nature. It’s often referred to as conclusive research as it tries to explain the cause-and-effect relationship between different variables. The objective is to understand which variables are causes and which are effects and the nature of the relationship between both variables.

Descriptive Survey Research

Descriptive survey research is largely observational and is ideal for gathering numeric data. Due to its quantitative nature, it’s often compared to exploratory survey research. The difference between the two is that descriptive research is structured and pre-planned.

 The idea behind descriptive research is to describe the mindset and opinion of a particular group of people on a given subject. The questions are every day multiple choices and users must choose from predefined categories. With predefined choices, you don’t get unique insights, rather, statistically inferable data.

Survey Research Types based on Concept Testing

Monadic concept testing.

Monadic testing is a survey research methodology in which the respondents are split into multiple groups and ask each group questions about a separate concept in isolation. Generally, monadic surveys are hyper-focused on a particular concept and shorter in duration. The important thing in monadic surveys is to avoid getting off-topic or exhausting the respondents with too many questions.

Sequential Monadic Concept Testing

Another approach to monadic testing is sequential monadic testing. In sequential monadic surveys, groups of respondents are surveyed in isolation. However, instead of surveying three groups on three different concepts, the researchers survey the same groups of people on three distinct concepts one after another. In a sequential monadic survey, at least two topics are included (in random order), and the same questions are asked for each concept to eliminate bias.

Based on Data Source

Primary data.

Data obtained directly from the source or target population is referred to as primary survey data. When it comes to primary data collection, researchers usually devise a set of questions and invite people with knowledge of the subject to respond. The main sources of primary data are interviews, questionnaires, surveys, and observation methods.

 Compared to secondary data, primary data is gathered from first-hand sources and is more reliable. However, the process of primary data collection is both costly and time-consuming.

Secondary Data

Survey research is generally used to collect first-hand information from a respondent. However, surveys can also be designed to collect and process secondary data. It’s collected from third-party sources or primary sources in the past.

 This type of data is usually generic, readily available, and cheaper than primary data collection. Some common sources of secondary data are books, data collected from older surveys, online data, and data from government archives. Beware that you might compromise the validity of your findings if you end up with irrelevant or inflated data.

Based on Research Method

Quantitative research.

Quantitative research is a popular research methodology that is used to collect numeric data in a systematic investigation. It’s frequently used in research contexts where statistical data is required, such as sciences or social sciences. Quantitative research methods include polls, systematic observations, and face-to-face interviews.

Qualitative Research

Qualitative research is a research methodology where you collect non-numeric data from research participants. In this context, the participants are not restricted to a specific system and provide open-ended information. Some common qualitative research methods include focus groups, one-on-one interviews, observations, and case studies.

Based on Deployment Method

Online surveys.

With technology advancing rapidly, the most popular method of survey research is an online survey. With the internet, you can not only reach a broader audience but also design and customize a survey and deploy it from anywhere. Online surveys have outperformed offline survey methods as they are less expensive and allow researchers to easily collect and analyze data from a large sample.

Paper or Print Surveys

As the name suggests, paper or print surveys use the traditional paper and pencil approach to collect data. Before the invention of computers, paper surveys were the survey method of choice.

Though many would assume that surveys are no longer conducted on paper, it's still a reliable method of collecting information during field research and data collection. However, unlike online surveys, paper surveys are expensive and require extra human resources.

Telephonic Surveys

Telephonic surveys are conducted over telephones where a researcher asks a series of questions to the respondent on the other end. Contacting respondents over a telephone requires less effort, human resources, and is less expensive.

What makes telephonic surveys debatable is that people are often reluctant in giving information over a phone call. Additionally, the success of such surveys depends largely on whether people are willing to invest their time on a phone call answering questions.

One-on-one Surveys

One-on-one surveys also known as face-to-face surveys are interviews where the researcher and respondent. Interacting directly with the respondent introduces the human factor into the survey.

Face-to-face interviews are useful when the researcher wants to discuss something personal with the respondent. The response rates in such surveys are always higher as the interview is being conducted in person. However, these surveys are quite expensive and the success of these depends on the knowledge and experience of the researcher.

Based on Distribution

The easiest and most common way of conducting online surveys is sending out an email. Sending out surveys via emails has a higher response rate as your target audience already knows about your brand and is likely to engage.

Buy Survey Responses

Purchasing survey responses also yields higher responses as the responders signed up for the survey. Businesses often purchase survey samples to conduct extensive research. Here, the target audience is often pre-screened to check if they're qualified to take part in the research.

Embedding Survey on a Website

Embedding surveys on a website is another excellent way to collect information. It allows your website visitors to take part in a survey without ever leaving the website and can be done while a person is entering or exiting the website.

Post the Survey on Social Media

Social media is an excellent medium to reach abroad range of audiences. You can publish your survey as a link on social media and people who are following the brand can take part and answer questions.

Based on Frequency of Deployment

Cross-sectional studies.

Cross-sectional studies are administered to a small sample from a large population within a short period of time. This provides researchers a peek into what the respondents are thinking at a given time. The surveys are usually short, precise, and specific to a particular situation.

Longitudinal Surveys

Longitudinal surveys are an extension of cross-sectional studies where researchers make an observation and collect data over extended periods of time. This type of survey can be further divided into three types:

-       Trend surveys are employed to allow researchers to understand the change in the thought process of the respondents over some time.

-       Panel surveys are administered to the same group of people over multiple years. These are usually expensive and researchers must stick to their panel to gather unbiased opinions.

-       In cohort surveys, researchers identify a specific category of people and regularly survey them. Unlike panel surveys, the same people do not need to take part over the years, but each individual must fall into the researcher’s primary interest category.

Retrospective Survey

Retrospective surveys allow researchers to ask questions to gather data about past events and beliefs of the respondents. Since retrospective surveys also require years of data, they are similar to the longitudinal survey, except retrospective surveys are shorter and less expensive.

Why Should You Conduct Research Surveys?

“In God we trust. All others must bring data” - W. Edwards Deming

 In the information age, survey research is of utmost importance and essential for understanding the opinion of your target population. Whether you’re launching a new product or conducting a social survey, the tool can be used to collect specific information from a defined set of respondents. The data collected via surveys can be further used by organizations to make informed decisions.

Furthermore, compared to other research methods, surveys are relatively inexpensive even if you’re giving out incentives. Compared to the older methods such as telephonic or paper surveys, online surveys have a smaller cost and the number of responses is higher.

 What makes surveys useful is that they describe the characteristics of a large population. With a larger sample size , you can rely on getting more accurate results. However, you also need honest and open answers for accurate results. Since surveys are also anonymous and the responses remain confidential, respondents provide candid and accurate answers.

Common Uses of a Survey

Surveys are widely used in many sectors, but the most common uses of the survey research include:

-       Market research : surveying a potential market to understand customer needs, preferences, and market demand.

-       Customer Satisfaction: finding out your customer’s opinions about your services, products, or companies .

-       Social research: investigating the characteristics and experiences of various social groups.

-       Health research: collecting data about patients’ symptoms and treatments.

-       Politics: evaluating public opinion regarding policies and political parties.

-       Psychology: exploring personality traits, behaviors, and preferences.

6 Steps to Conduct Survey Research

An organization, person, or company conducts a survey when they need the information to make a decision but have insufficient data on hand. Following are six simple steps that can help you design a great survey.

Step 1: Objective of the Survey

The first step in survey research is defining an objective. The objective helps you define your target population and samples. The target population is the specific group of people you want to collect data from and since it’s rarely possible to survey the entire population, we target a specific sample from it. Defining a survey objective also benefits your respondents by helping them understand the reason behind the survey.

Step 2: Number of Questions

The number of questions or the size of the survey depends on the survey objective. However, it’s important to ensure that there are no redundant queries and the questions are in a logical order. Rephrased and repeated questions in a survey are almost as frustrating as in real life. For a higher completion rate, keep the questionnaire small so that the respondents stay engaged to the very end. The ideal length of an interview is less than 15 minutes. ( 2 )

Step 3: Language and Voice of Questions

While designing a survey, you may feel compelled to use fancy language. However, remember that difficult language is associated with higher survey dropout rates. You need to speak to the respondent in a clear, concise, and neutral manner, and ask simple questions. If your survey respondents are bilingual, then adding an option to translate your questions into another language can also prove beneficial.

Step 4: Type of Questions

In a survey, you can include any type of questions and even both closed-ended or open-ended questions. However, opt for the question types that are the easiest to understand for the respondents, and offer the most value. For example, compared to open-ended questions, people prefer to answer close-ended questions such as MCQs (multiple choice questions)and NPS (net promoter score) questions.

Step 5: User Experience

Designing a great survey is about more than just questions. A lot of researchers underestimate the importance of user experience and how it affects their response and completion rates. An inconsistent, difficult-to-navigate survey with technical errors and poor color choice is unappealing for the respondents. Make sure that your survey is easy to navigate for everyone and if you’re using rating scales, they remain consistent throughout the research study.

Additionally, don’t forget to design a good survey experience for both mobile and desktop users. According to Pew Research Center, nearly half of the smartphone users access the internet mainly from their mobile phones and 14 percent of American adults are smartphone-only internet users. ( 3 )

Step 6: Survey Logic

Last but not least, logic is another critical aspect of the survey design. If the survey logic is flawed, respondents may not continue in the right direction. Make sure to test the logic to ensure that selecting one answer leads to the next logical question instead of a series of unrelated queries.

How to Effectively Use Survey Research with Starlight Analytics

Designing and conducting a survey is almost as much science as it is an art. To craft great survey research, you need technical skills, consider the psychological elements, and have a broad understanding of marketing.

The ultimate goal of the survey is to ask the right questions in the right manner to acquire the right results.

Bringing a new product to the market is a long process and requires a lot of research and analysis. In your journey to gather information or ideas for your business, Starlight Analytics can be an excellent guide. Starlight Analytics' product concept testing helps you measure your product's market demand and refine product features and benefits so you can launch with confidence. The process starts with custom research to design the survey according to your needs, execute the survey, and deliver the key insights on time.

  • Survey research in the United States: roots and emergence, 1890-1960    
  • How to create a survey questionnaire that gets great responses    
  • Internet/broadband fact sheet    

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How to Write a Survey Paper: A stepwise Guide with Examples

How to Write a Survey Paper

How to Write a Survey Paper

Some of you may be wondering what a survey paper is. A survey paper contains the interpretation that has been drawn by the author after they have reviewed and analyzed various research papers that are centered on a specific topic. Those research papers should be already published.

Now that we have understood what a survey paper is, let us explore the various steps that have to be taken when coming up with a survey paper. As noted, a survey paper lists and analyzes the most recent research work in a particular area of study.

To write a good survey paper, you need to research the representative papers, come up with a title, a good abstract, and writing the introduction, the body, and conclusions that reflect the findings as well as the challenges of the study.

research paper survey example

To do this, there is a challenge of research. As such, the first challenge is to find the most recent and appropriate research papers for the topic. The 9 steps below should be followed when writing a survey paper.

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Step 1: selecting the representative papers.

The first step when writing a survey paper is selecting the most relevant representative papers that are within the scope of your research and summarizing them effectively. As you will note, there can be a lot of research papers, and the space required to create a survey paper is limited.

Steps of writing a survey paper

During such, it can be challenging when trying to pick the key work within the scope of your study.

As an author of the survey paper, you will have to read the research papers’ abstracts and conclusions and pick the subset that captures your area of study.

To ensure that the selected research papers are appropriate or relevant, they should be recent, contain more citations, and be published in journals with a high reputation.

The research papers should not be less than 10.

Step 2: Coming up with an Appropriate Title

The second step is coming up with a captivating title that provides a clear summary of your paper’s contents. As such, the title should be clear and brief. To achieve this, the title should utilize active verbs rather than complex phrases that are based on nouns. 

A good title of your survey paper should contain between 10 and 12 words because a title with more words will divert the attention of the readers from the central point.

A longer title will also appear unfocused. Therefore, the title should have the keywords of your survey paper in such a way that it defines the study’s nature. 

Step 3: Creating an Abstract

Another important step to be taken when writing a survey paper is to create an abstract. The abstract acts as a summary of your survey paper.

It should provide a summary of the problem that has been investigated, the methods used, the results of the study, and the conclusion.

Abstracts summarize the most important contents of your survey paper in a single paragraph of between 200 and 300 words.

When creating an abstract, make sure that it contains or highlights the key points while convincing the readers or the target audience to continue reading the whole survey paper. Should always include an abstract in your survey paper.

Step 4: Listing Key Terms

While the keywords help the target audience or other researchers understand the field of the survey paper, the subfield, research issue, the topic, and so on, the main purpose of this section is to help readers or researchers locate your paper when they are doing searches on the topic.

Most of the databases, electronic search engines such as Google, and journal websites will utilize keywords when deciding whether to display the survey paper to interested readers and when this should be done.

With the proper keywords, your survey paper will be more searchable and it will be cited by more researchers because it can be easily located. 

Step 5: Writing the Introduction

the introduction

The next step when writing a survey paper is to include a good introduction.

A good introduction paragraph will explain to the target readers how the research problem has been tackled by the research papers that you have included in your paper.

The introduction should arouse the readers’ interest in knowing more about the topic and the research domain. If they are interested, they will continue reading your survey paper.

Unlike the abstract, the introduction within a survey paper does not contain a very strict word limit. However, it should be concise because it introduces the paper’s topic, provides a broader context of the study, and gradually narrows the scope down to the research problem. 

Therefore, make sure that your introduction sets a scene and contextualizes your paper. It can begin with a historical narrative bringing the narrative to the present day and ending with a research question. Ensure that the very last sentence of your introduction is the thesis statement. 

Step 6: Providing the Approaches Used in the Survey Paper

This is a very important step in any survey paper. This is where you are required to provide the methodologies used to conduct your research or survey in a logical order.

You are required to logically move from one method to the next as you clearly define each approach at the beginning of every section.

To ensure that your readers are at par with you, you should share the motivation behind each methodology. This is achieved by giving a high-level summary of every approach and then narrowing it down to the specific approaches.

You should also demonstrate the applicability and the practicability of every approach used in the research, and the areas that need to be improved. You should graphically visualize at least one method used. 

Step 7: Writing About the Paper Surveys

This step should take the bulk of your survey paper because it is the point where you survey the papers you have selected. Here, you should decide what you are going to inform your readers about each research paper.

Therefore, it is important to first read the research papers in a manner that you can know what to inform your readers about them.

For each research paper, make sure that you tell your readers about their research direction. Also, ensure that you identify the algorithms or mathematical techniques the research papers rely on and whether they are application or theory papers. 

You should also state whether the selected research papers are an improvement on other works or they are a continuation of other works.

Then, state whether the research papers utilize simulations, theoretical proofs, real-life deployment, and so on. Finally, you should state the strengths and weaknesses of each research paper, authors’ claims, and assumptions. 

Step 8: Research Challenges

research challenges

After surveying every research paper you have utilized, the next step is to state the challenges you encountered while conducting research.

When writing a survey paper, you will always face various challenges.

Such challenges can be finding the best or most appropriate research papers, comparing them to determine their strengths, and so on.

Other challenges can arise from the research papers themselves. This can include their delivery of results. Some research papers will contain confusing data. 

Step 9: Coming up with a Conclusion

Finally, the conclusion should answer the questions that have been raised by your survey paper’s objectives and goals.

Though it should be interesting and captivating, it should still be presented academically. It should be objective and offer a final say concerning the survey’s subject. 

The conclusion should synthesize the results by proving their interpretation, propose the course of action as per the results, and offer solutions to the issues that have been identified.

The reader should be capable of understanding the whole survey paper by reading the conclusion. Therefore, ensure that your conclusion synthesizes your paper. 

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Tips When Writing a Good Survey Paper

The first tip in writing a good survey paper is to select the most appropriate and latest research papers that will be used in the paper. This is a very important tip because the survey paper will be completely based on them. Old research papers will render your survey paper useless.

Tips writing survey papers

Research papers that are not within the scope of your research or topic will also render the survey paper useless.

The second tip is to make sure that you come up with a concise topic that will summarize what your paper is about.

It is also very important to follow the appropriate format of a survey paper.

The format, after you have written your title, should be abstract, key terms, introduction, approaches or methodologies, conducting surveys for every paper used, research challenges, and finally the conclusion.

Another important tip is to utilize more than 10 research papers for the survey. Then can be even more than 20 depending on the scope of your study. The more the research papers used in your survey paper, the more professional and credible it will appear. 

It should be noted that a good survey paper will utilize research papers that are recent (not more than 5 years) and have more academic sources.

To increase the credibility of your survey paper, the research papers used should come from reputable journal sources or publications. In our guide to writing good research papers , we explained more about references. Check it out.

Also, note that the process of writing a survey paper is much different from that of writing an issue paper or doing opinion essays . Therefore, each step needs to relate to the survey.

15 Examples of Topics for Writing a Survey Paper

  • Advances in leaf image analysis for bacterial disease detection
  • A survey on the impact of social media among youths in the united states
  • A Survey on leaf image analysis for bacterial disease detection
  • Recent trends in the electric cars manufacturing industry
  • Recent trends in perinatal care: Exploring the major causes of perinatal mortality
  • Leaf image analysis for bacterial disease detection
  • Advances in curriculum-based education: A survey on educational trends in sub-Saharan Africa
  • Recent trends in environmental awareness campaigns in low-income countries
  • A survey on COVID-19 pandemic impact on the united states economy
  • Recent trends in the immunization approach taken by third world countries after the second and third wave of COVID-19 disease
  • Advances in semiconductor manufacturing for BMW electronic cars
  • A survey on the impact of 5-G connectivity among SMEs in Britain
  • Recent trends in the space race: A survey of how the founders of Virgin Atlantic, Tesla, and Amazon are competing to dominate space travel 
  • Advances in care for pressure ulcers: A survey on the impact of frequent automated turning on older immobile patients in Germany
  • A survey on the impact of geopolitics on peace within the Middle East 

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Survey Research Design: Definition, How to Conduct a Survey & Examples

Survey research

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Survey research is a quantitative research method that involves collecting data from a sample of individuals using standardized questionnaires or surveys. The goal of survey research is to measure the attitudes, opinions, behaviors, and characteristics of a target population. Surveys can be conducted through various means, including phone, mail, online, or in-person.

If your project involves live interaction with numerous people in order to obtain important data, you should know the basic rules of survey research beforehand. Today we’ll talk about this research type, review the step-by-step guide on how to do a survey research and try to understand main advantages and potential pitfalls. The following important questions will be discussed below:

  • Purpose and techniques of information collection.
  • Kinds of responses.
  • Analysis techniques, assumptions, and conclusions.

Do you wish to learn best practices of survey conducting? Stay with our research paper service and get prepared for some serious reading!

What Is Survey Research: Definition

Let’s define the notion of survey research first. It revolves around surveys you conduct to retrieve certain data from your respondents. The latter is to be carefully selected from some population that for particular reasons possess the data necessary for your research. For example, they can be witnesses of some event that you should investigate. Surveys contain a set of predefined questions, closed- or open-ended. They can be sent to participants who would answer them and thus provide you with data for your research. There are many methods for organizing surveys and processing the obtained information.

Purpose of Survey Research Design

Purpose of survey research is to collect proper data and thus get insights for your research. You should pick participants with relatable experience. It should be done in order to get relevant information from them. Questions in your survey should be formulated in a way that allows getting as much useful data as possible. The format of a survey should be adjusted to the situation. It will ensure your respondents will be ready to give their answers. It can be a questionnaire sent over email or questions asked during a phone call.

Surveys Research Methods

Which survey research method to choose? Let’s review the most popular approaches and when to use them. There are two critical factors that define how a survey will be conducted

  • Tool to send questions
  • online: using web forms or email questionnaires.
  • phone: reaching out to respondents individually. Sometimes using an automated service.
  • face-to-face: interviewing respondents in the real world. This makes room for more in-depth questions.
  • Time to conduct research
  • short-term periods.
  • long-term periods.

Let’s explore the time-related methods in detail.

Cross-Sectional Survey Design Research

The first type is cross sectional survey research. Design of this survey type includes collecting various insights from an audience within a specific short time period. It is used for descriptive analysis of a subject. The purpose is to provide quick conclusions or assumptions. Which is why this approach relies on fast data gathering and processing techniques.  Such surveys are typically implemented in sectors such as retail, education, healthcare etc, where the situation tends to change fast. So it is important to obtain operational results as soon as possible.

Longitudinal Survey Research

Let’s talk about survey research designs . Planning a design beforehand is crucial. It is crucial in case you are pressed on time or have a limited budget. Collecting information using a properly designed survey research is typically more effective and productive compared with a casually conducted study.  Preparation of a survey design includes the following major steps:

  • Understand the aim of your research. So that you can better plan the entire path of a survey and avoid obvious issues.
  • Pick a good sample from a population. Ensure precision of the results by selecting members who could provide useful insights and opinions.
  • Review available research methods. Decide about the one most suitable for your specific case.
  • Prepare a questionnaire. Selection of questions would directly affect the quality of your longitudinal analysis . So make sure to pick good questions. Also, avoid unnecessary ones to save time and counter possible errors.
  • Analyze results and make conclusions.

Advantages of Survey Research

As a rule, survey research involves getting data from people with first-hand knowledge about the research subject. Therefore, when formulated properly, survey questions should provide some unique insights and thus describe the subject better. Other benefits of this approach include:

  • Minimum investment. Online and automated call services require very low investment per respondent.
  • Versatile sources. Data can be collected by numerous means, allowing more flexibility.
  • Reliable for respondents. Anonymous surveys are secure. Respondents are more likely to answer honestly if they understand it will be confidential.

Types of Survey Research

Let’s review the main types of surveys. It is important to know about most popular templates. So that you wouldn’t have to develop your own ones from scratch for your specific case. Such studies are usually categorized by the following aspects:

  • Objectives.
  • Data source.
  • Methodology.

We’ll examine each of these aspects below, focusing on areas where certain types are used. 

Types of Survey Research Depending on Objective

Depending on your objective and the specifics of the subject’s context, the following survey research types can be used:

  • Predictive This approach foresees asking questions that automatically predict the best possible response options based on how they are formulated. As a result, it is often easier for respondents to provide their answers as they already have helpful suggestions.
  • Exploratory This approach is focused more on the discovery of new ideas and insights rather than collecting statistically accurate information. The results can be difficult to categorize and analyze. But this approach is very useful for finding a general direction for further research.
  • Descriptive This approach helps to define and describe your respondents' opinions or behavior more precisely. By predefining certain categories and designing survey questions, you obtain statistical data. This descriptive research approach is often used at later research stages. It is used in order to better understand the meaning of insights obtained at the beginning.

Types of Survey Research Depending on Data Source

The following research survey types can be defined based on which sources you obtain the data from:

  • Primary In this case, you collect information directly from the original source, e.g., learn about a natural disaster from a survivor. You aren’t using any intermediary instances. And, as a result, don't get any information twisted or lost on its way. This is the way to obtain the most valid and trustworthy results. But at the same time, it is often not so easy to access such sources.
  • Secondary This involves collecting data from existing research on the same subject that has been published. Such information is easier to access. But at the same time, it is usually too general and not tailored for your specific needs.

Types of Survey Research Depending on Methodology

Finally, let’s review survey research methodologies based on the format of retrieved and processed data. They can be:

  • Quantitative An approach that focuses on gathering numeric or measurable data from respondents. This provides enough material for statistical analysis. And then leads to some meaningful conclusions. Collection of such data requires properly designed surveys that include numeric options. It is important to take precautions to ensure that the data you’ve gathered is valid.
  • Qualitative Such surveys rely on opinions, impressions, reflections, and typical reactions of target groups. They should include open-ended questions to allow respondents to give detailed answers. It allows providing information that they consider most relevant. Qualitative research is used to understand, explain or evaluate some ideas or tendencies.

It is essential to differentiate these two kinds of research. That's why we prepared a special blog, which is about quantitative vs qualitative research .

How to Conduct a Survey Research: Main Steps

Now let’s find out how to do a survey step by step. Regardless of methods you use to design and conduct your survey, there are general guidelines that should be followed. The path is quite straightforward: 

  • Assess your goals and options for accessing necessary groups.
  • Formulate each question in a way that helps you obtain the most valuable data.
  • Plan and execute the distribution of the questions.
  • Process the results.

Let’s take a closer look at all these stages.

Step 1. Create a Clear Survey Research Question

Each survey research question should add some potential value to your expected results. Before formulating your questionnaire, it is better to invest some time analyzing your target populations. This will allow you to form proper samples of respondents. Big enough to get some insights from them but not too big at the same time. A good way to prepare questions is by constructing case studies for your subject. Analyzing case study examples in detail will help you understand which information about them is necessary.

Step 2. Choose a Type of Survey Research

As we’ve already learned, there are several different types of survey research. Starting with a close analysis of your subject, goals and available sources will help you understand which kinds of questions are to be distributed.  As a researcher, you’ll also need to analyze the features of the selected group of respondents. Pick a type that makes it easier to reach out to them. For example, if you should question a group of elderly people, online forms wouldn’t be efficient compared with interviews.

Step 3. Distribute the Questionnaire for Your Survey Research

The next step of survey research is the most decisive one. Now you should execute the plan you’ve created earlier. And then conduct the questioning of the entire group that was selected. If this is a group assignment, ask your colleagues or peers for help. Especially if you should deal with a big group of respondents. It is important to stick to the initial scenario but leave some room for improvisation in case there are difficulties with reaching out to respondents. After you collect all necessary responses, this data can be processed and analyzed.

Step 4. Analyze the Results of Your Research Survey

The data obtained during the survey research should be processed. So that you can use it for making assumptions and conclusions. If it is qualitative, you should conduct a thematic analysis to find important ideas and insights that could confirm your theories or expand your knowledge of the subject. Quantitative data can be analyzed manually or with the help of some program. Its purpose is to extract dependencies and trends from it to confirm or refute existing assumptions.

Step 5. Save the Results of Your Survey Research

The final step is to compose a survey research paper in order to get your results ordered. This way none of them would be lost especially if you save some copies of the paper. Depending on your assignment and on which stage you are at, it can be a dissertation, a thesis or even an illustrative essay where you explain the subject to your audience.  Each survey you’ve conducted must get a special section in your paper where you explain your methods and describe your results.

Survey Research Example

We have got a few research survey examples in case you would need some real world cases to illustrate the guidelines and tips provided above. Below is a sample research case with population and the purposes of researchers defined.

Example of survey research design The Newtown Youth Initiative will conduct a qualitative survey to develop a program to mitigate alcohol consumption by adolescent citizens of Newtown. Previously, cultural anthropology research was performed for studying mental constructs to understand young people's expectations from alcohol and their views on specific cultural values. Based on its results, a survey was designed to measure expectancies, cultural orientation among the adolescent population. A secure web page has been developed to conduct this survey and ensure anonymity of respondents. The Newtown Youth Initiative will partner with schools to share the link to this page with students and engage them to participate. Statistical analysis of differences in expectancies and cultural orientation between drinkers and non-drinkers will be performed using the data from this survey.

Survey Research: Key Takeaways

Today, we have explored the research survey notion and reviewed the main features of this research activity and its usage in the social sciences topics . Important techniques and tips have been reviewed. A step by step guide for conducting such studies has also been provided.


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Frequently Asked Questions About Survey Research

1. what is a market research survey.

A market research survey can help a company understand several aspects of their target market. It typically involves picking focus groups of customers and asking them questions in order to learn about demand for specific products or services and understand whether it grows. Such feedback would be crucial for a company’s development. It can help it to plan its further strategic steps.

2. How does survey research differ from experimental research methods?

The main difference between experiment and survey research is that the latter means field research, while experiments are typically performed in laboratory conditions. When conducting surveys, researchers don’t have full control on the process and should adapt to the specific traits of their target groups in order to obtain answers from them. Besides, results of a study might be harder to quantify and turn into statistical values.

4. What is the difference between survey research and descriptive research?

The purpose of descriptive studies is to explain what the subject is and which features it has. Survey research may include descriptive information but is not limited by that. Typically it goes beyond descriptive statistics and includes qualitative research or advanced statistical methods used to draw inferences, find dependencies or build trends. On the other hand, descriptive methods don’t necessarily include questioning respondents, obtaining information from other sources.

3. What is good sample size for a survey?

It always depends on a specific case and researcher’s goals. However, there are some general guidelines and best practices for this activity. Good maximum sample size is usually around 10% of the population, as long as this does not exceed 1000 people. In any case, you should be mindful of your time and budget limitations when planning your actions. In case you’ve got a team to help you, it might be possible to process more data.


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Types of Survey: What It Is with Examples

types of survey

Technically, a  survey is a method of gathering and compiling information from a group of people, more often known as the sample, to gain knowledge by organizations, businesses, or institutions. This information or opinion collected from the sample is more often a generalization of what a large population thinks.

Different types of survey helps provide important or critical information in the form of meaningful data, which is further used by businesses or organizations to make informed and sound decisions. The collected data offers good insights only when the administered questionnaire is carefully designed to promote response rates and includes both open-ended questions and closed-ended questions and answers options. There is much variety when it comes to surveys, and we can identify their types based on the frequency of their administration or the way of deployment.

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Types of Survey

Now that we know what a survey is and why do we need to survey people, let’s explore its types. These can be classified in different ways, as mentioned earlier, depending upon the frequency of administration or deployment and how the distribution/deployment occurs. There are other types of surveys like random sample surveys (to understand public opinion or attitude) and self-selected type of studies.

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Types of a survey based on deployment methods:

1. online surveys:.

One of the most popular types is an online survey . With technology advancing many folds with each passing day, an online survey is becoming more popular. This survey consists of  survey questions that can be easily deployed to the respondents online via email, or they can access the survey if they have an internet connection. These surveys are easy to design and simple to deploy. Respondents are given ample time and space to the respondent to answer these surveys, so researchers can expect unbiased responses. They are less expensive, and data can be collected and analyzed quickly.

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2. Paper surveys:

As the name suggests, this survey uses the traditional paper and pencil approach. Many would believe that paper surveys are a thing of the past. However, they are quite handy when it comes to field research and data collection. These surveys can go where computers, laptops or other handheld devices cannot go.

There is a flip side to it too. This survey type is the most expensive method of data collection. It includes deploying a large number of human resources, along with time and money.

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3. Telephonic Surveys:

Researchers conduct these over telephones. Respondents need to answer questions related to the research topic by the researcher. These surveys are time-consuming and sometimes non-conclusive. The success of these depends on how many people answer the phone and want to invest their time answering questions over the telephone.

4. One-to-One interviews:

The one-to-one interview helps researchers gather information or data directly from a respondent. It’s a qualitative research method  and depends on the knowledge and experience of a researcher to frame and ask relevant questions one after the other to collect meaningful insights from the  interview . These interviews can last from 30 minutes up to a few hours.

Types of a survey based on the frequency of deployment

1. cross-sectional studies.

These surveys are administered to a small sample from a larger population within a small time frame. This type offers a researcher a quick summary or analysis of what respondents think at that given time. These surveys are short and ready to answer and can measure opinion in one particular situation.

Consider hypothetically, an organization conducts a study related to breast cancer in America, and they choose a sample to obtain cross-sectional data. This data indicated that breast cancer was most prevalent in women of African-American origin. The information is from one point in time. Now, if the researcher wants to dwell more in-depth into the research, he/she can deploy a longitudinal survey.

Learn more: Cross-sectional Study

2. Longitudinal surveys:

Longitudinal surveys are those surveys that help researchers to make an observation and collect data over an extended period. There are three main types of longitudinal studies: trend surveys, panel surveys, and cohort surveys.

Trend surveys are deployed by researchers to understand the shift or transformation in the thought process of respondents over some time. They use these surveys to understand how people’s inclination change with time.

Another longitudinal survey type is  a panel survey . Researchers administer these surveys to the same set or group of people over the years. Panel surveys are expensive in nature, and researchers try to stick to their panel to gather unbiased opinions.

The third type of longitudinal survey is the cohort survey. In this type, categories of people that meet specific similar criteria and characteristics form the target audience. The same people don’t need to create a group. However, people forming a group should have certain similarities.

Learn more: Longitudinal Study

3. Retrospective survey:

A retrospective survey is a type of study in which respondents answer questions to report on events from the past. By deploying this kind of survey, researchers can gather data based on past experiences and beliefs of people. This way, unlike a longitudinal survey, they can save the cost and time required.

Learn more: Cross-sectional vs Longitudinal Study

Random public opinion/attitude type of survey research:

When an agency needs reliable, projectable data about the attitudes and opinions of its citizens or a select group of its citizens, it is essential to conduct a valid, random sample survey. Telephone interview surveys are considerably more common than in-person interviews because they are far less expensive to administer and act as a standard tool for gathering information.

There is a margin of error based on the sample size (generally, a minimum population sample of 200 is the industry standard for reliable data about any population segment). Overall, random sample telephone interview surveys provide reasonably accurate information about the population.

While there is a statistical  margin of error (the sample of 200 provides an error range of +/- 7% with a 95% confidence), this type of survey is the most democratic and reliable process for learning about the opinions of an entire community.

A random sample survey is inappropriate for educating people about an issue or assessing what people will do at some future point (i.e., “Will you vote for this bond issue?”). But, the results provide a reasonably accurate portrait of the person’s opinions in the present moment (i.e., a person’s feelings or attitudes about the issues relating to the need to approve a bond). Questions in the past and present tense provide a reasonable degree of accuracy about a person’s usage and habit patterns.

If you are trying to calculate the ideal margin of error for your research, you can use tools like our margin of error calculator .

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Self-selected type of survey research – Newspapers, mail, Internet, written questionnaires:

When an agency has a political need to create a survey process that allows anyone interested in responding, it can do a self-selected process. A written survey can be distributed in public locations, such as the City Hall or Library, emailed directly, emailed, or published in the city newsletter or the local newspaper.

When reporting data from a self-selected survey, it is essential, to begin with, the understanding and the language, “Of those who chose to respond…..” Most often, those who volunteer to respond to a self-selected survey have a strong opinion (frequently negative) about the issue in question.

A self-selected survey can be an excellent public relations tool and the right way to inform the public. But, it’s crucial to be cautious in drawing any conclusion about what the public, in general, thinks based on the results of a survey when the respondents are volunteers.

Learn more: Research Design

Types of surveys with examples

A researcher must have a proper medium to conduct research and collect meaningful information to make informed decisions. Also, it is essential to have a platform to create and deploy these various types of market research surveys.

LEARN ABOUT: Top 12 Tips to Create A Good Survey

QuestionPro is a platform that helps not only to create but also to deploy different types of surveys. We have 350+ types of survey templates and survey examples, including:

  • Customer survey templates: Customers are crucial to success for any business or organization, and so are customer satisfaction surveys. It is essential for organizations or companies to understand their customers and what their needs and preferences are. Use the customer survey template to understand your customers better and work on their feedback to grow and flourish your business.
  • Market research & Marketing survey templates : Use marketing survey templates for market research to determine what consumers think about products or services. These are also helpful for a brand to assess whether products are reasonably priced, gather feedback from consumers, measure their level of awareness, and more.
  • Community survey templates : Community survey templates can be administered to members of associations or foundations to get feedback regarding the various activities conducted within the association. This helps understand the member’s experiences and collect feedback regarding what kind of programs add value, feedback of previously held events, etc. and more.
  • Human Resource survey templates : The human resource survey template can be used by businesses and organizations for employee evaluation, employee satisfaction, employee engagement, and more. Organizations can send these out to employees, and their feedback can be collected and implemented.

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  • Industrial survey templates : Expertly designed survey templates that are customized for the different industries help to collect in-depth feedback or information from consumers of various industries like event management, hotel industry , fast food industry, transportation, just to name a few. Through these survey templates, the industry player can understand what good they are already doing and what needs more attention from a consumer’s point of view.
  • Academic survey templates : Academic survey templates are one of the best ways to understand how students and their parents respond to the efforts taken by your education institution. A online questionnaire designed by industry experts helps to assess the parent/student feedback on a course evaluation, curriculum planning, training sessions, etc.
  • Nonprofit survey templates : These Nonprofit survey templates are designed by domain experts to collect targeted information and feedback from various donors, volunteers, stakeholders, and any other participants of a nonprofit’s activities. The questionnaires address various important touchpoints and collect data from event attendees, collect donor survey feedback, or run an internal survey among volunteers.

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One can choose from these existing survey format templates or create a survey of their own, all this just at the click of a button.

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Writing a Questionnaire Survey Research Paper – Example Format: Tips and Guidelines

Writing a Questionnaire Survey Research Paper – Example Format: Tips and Guidelines

When it comes to conducting a questionnaire survey research, one must start with careful planning and preparation. It is essential to establish clear objectives, define the target population, and select appropriate methods for collecting data. In this article, we will provide you with tips and guidelines on how to write and structure a questionnaire survey research paper.

Firstly, it is important to give clear instructions at the start of your questionnaire. Participants should know exactly what is expected of them and how to answer the questions. Similarly, ensure that the items in your questionnaire are ordered in a logical and coherent manner. This not only makes it easier for respondents to answer but also helps in analyzing the data effectively.

In some cases, you may need to switch languages or include translation options in your questionnaire to reach a wider audience. This is particularly important when working with multicultural populations or conducting international research. Make sure to address these issues and explain how you dealt with language barriers or cultural differences.

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The next step is to present the results of your survey. This can be done through graphs, tables, or descriptive paragraphs. Analyze the data and highlight the key findings of your research. Interpret the results and discuss their implications. It is important to relate your findings back to the research objectives and discuss any limitations or weaknesses in your study.

Writing a Questionnaire Survey Research Paper

Designing the questionnaire.

The first step in conducting a questionnaire survey research paper is designing the questionnaire. It is important to construct questions that will provide valuable information for the research topic. There are two types of questions that can be used: closed-ended and open-ended questions. Closed-ended questions typically have a set of predetermined answers , while open-ended questions allow participants to provide their own answers. It is also important to consider the order of the questions and the overall structure of the questionnaire.

Selecting the Participants

Once the questionnaire has been designed, the next step is selecting the participants. The participants should be representative of the population you are studying. For example, if you are conducting a survey on the attitudes of lesbians towards the market, your sample should include lesbians from different backgrounds and regions. It is important to ensure that the participants understand the purpose of the survey and feel comfortable answering the questions.

In addition to selecting the participants, it is also important to consider ethical issues related to the research. Researchers should obtain informed consent from the participants and ensure their privacy and confidentiality. Any personal information collected should be stored securely and used only for research purposes.

Formatting the Questionnaire

The formatting of the questionnaire is also an important aspect of conducting a questionnaire survey research paper. The questionnaire should be easy to read and understand. The questions should be clear and concise, and the response options should be well-defined. It is also important to include any instructions or explanations that are necessary for the participants to answer the questions correctly.

In terms of style, the questionnaire should be consistent with the earlier literature and theories in the field. It is also important to use proper referencing and cite any relevant examples or research findings. Formatting the questionnaire in a professional manner will help ensure that the research is viewed as credible and reliable.

Analyzing the Results

Once the questionnaire has been distributed and the participants have provided their answers, the next step is analyzing the results. This involves examining the data and identifying any patterns or themes. The data can be analyzed using statistical techniques or qualitative methods, depending on the type of research question. The results should be presented in a clear and organized manner, using tables, charts, or graphs to illustrate the findings.

Example Format: Tips and Guidelines

1. title and abstract.

The title should clearly indicate the purpose of the research and the topic being studied. The abstract should provide a brief summary of the research objectives, methodology, and key findings.

3. Methodology

Explain the methods used to collect data, including the sample size and selection criteria, questionnaire design, and administration approach. Provide details on the population targeted and the location of the study.

4. Sample and Participants

Describe the characteristics of the sample population, such as age, gender, education level, and occupation. Discuss the recruitment process and any incentives offered to encourage participation.

5. Data Collection

Explain how the questionnaires were distributed and collected. Discuss any language or cultural considerations that may have influenced the responses. Include information on how data was tracked and recorded.

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6. Analysis and Findings

Present the findings of the survey in a clear and organized manner. Use tables, graphs, or charts to illustrate the data. Include explanations and interpretations of the findings, categorizing the responses into relevant themes.

8. References

Include a list of all sources referenced in the research paper. Follow a consistent citation style, such as APA or MLA.

By following these tips and guidelines, you can ensure that your questionnaire survey research paper is well-structured, easy to read, and informative. Remember to proofread your paper before submission to check for any spelling or grammar errors. Good luck!

Survey Research Definition

The main purpose of survey research is to measure opinions, attitudes, behaviors, or characteristics of a population. It allows researchers to gather data on a large scale and analyze trends or patterns within the collected information.

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Surveys are designed to be highly structured, with a defined set of questions that can be asked to participants. The questions are usually written in a concise and easy-to-understand format, aimed at minimizing biases and ensuring that respondents can provide informed answers.

The design of a survey can vary depending on the research objectives and target audience. Researchers need to consider factors such as the length of the survey, the type of questions asked (e.g., closed-ended, open-ended), and the method of recruitment for participants. Furthermore, careful attention should be paid to the phrasing and ordering of questions to avoid confusion or bias in the responses.

Surveys can be conducted through various means, including paper questionnaires, online surveys, or phone interviews. Online surveys have become increasingly popular due to their ease of distribution, cost-effectiveness, and the ability to reach a large audience across different geographical locations and languages.

Survey research is widely used in many fields, such as marketing, social sciences, healthcare, and cybersecurity. It allows researchers to gather data on a large scale, making it easier to track trends or variations within a population. The data collected from surveys can be analyzed using statistical techniques to derive meaningful insights and inform decision-making processes.

In summary, survey research is a valuable method for gathering data and measuring attitudes, behaviors, or characteristics of a population. It provides a structured approach to collecting information, which can be analyzed to extract valuable insights and trends.

Example 1: Likert Scale

This example demonstrates the use of a Likert scale, which is a commonly used approach for measuring attitudes or opinions. Respondents are asked to indicate their agreement or disagreement with a statement using a scale of 1 to 5, where 1 represents strongly disagree and 5 represents strongly agree.

Example 2: Open-ended Question

This example demonstrates the use of an open-ended question, which allows respondents to provide a written response rather than selecting from predefined options. This can be useful for collecting detailed feedback or opinions.

What improvements would you suggest for our product?

Example 3: Demographic Question

This example demonstrates a demographic question, which helps gather information about the characteristics of the respondents.

What is your age?

d) 45 or older

These examples only scratch the surface of the different types of questions you can use in your questionnaire. Depending on the objectives of your research and the target population, you may decide to use a combination of different question types and approaches to gather the necessary data.

In the next section, we will continue with some useful tips and guidelines to help you design an effective questionnaire for your survey research paper.

The methods section of a questionnaire survey research paper provides a detailed explanation of the process and methodology used to collect data. It includes information on formatting the questionnaire, sampling techniques, and data collection procedures.

Formatting the questionnaire is an essential step in ensuring that respondents can understand and answer the questions accurately. The researcher should use clear and concise language, avoid jargon or technical terms, and provide instructions that are easy to follow. It is also important to check the consistency and order of the questions to prevent any confusion or bias in the responses.

Sampling techniques involve selecting a suitable sample from the target population. This can be done through random sampling, where each member of the population has an equal chance of being included, or stratified sampling, where the population is divided into different groups or categories. The researcher should consider the size of the sample, the level of representativeness required, and the potential bias that may arise.

Data collection procedures can vary depending on the research objectives and the resources available. Surveys can be administered through paper-and-pencil questionnaires, online surveys, or telephone interviews. Each method has its advantages and disadvantages, and the researcher should choose the most effective and appropriate method for their study.

When collecting data, it is important to track the responses and ensure that all questionnaires are accounted for. This can be done by assigning unique identification numbers or codes to each participant, which can facilitate data entry and analysis. It is also essential to follow ethical guidelines and obtain informed consent from the participants.

In summary, the methods section of a questionnaire survey research paper outlines the procedures and techniques involved in collecting data. It discusses the formatting of the questionnaire, the sampling methods used, and the data collection procedures. By following these guidelines, researchers can obtain reliable and valid data to answer their research questions.

What is a questionnaire survey research paper?

A questionnaire survey research paper is a type of academic paper that involves using a questionnaire as a research instrument to collect data from respondents. The paper presents the background, methodology, results, and discussions related to the survey conducted.

What is the format of a questionnaire survey research paper?

The format of a questionnaire survey research paper typically follows the standard structure of an academic paper, which includes an introduction, literature review, methodology, data analysis and results, discussions, and conclusion. Additionally, it may also include an appendix for the questionnaire itself.

How should I structure the introduction of a questionnaire survey research paper?

The introduction of a questionnaire survey research paper should provide the background and context of the study, state the research objectives and hypothesis, and explain the significance of the research. It should also include a brief overview of the methodology and the organization of the paper.

What are some tips for designing a questionnaire for a survey research paper?

When designing a questionnaire for a survey research paper, it is important to ensure that the questions are clear, concise, and unbiased. The questionnaire should also include a mix of different question types, such as multiple choice, Likert scale, and open-ended questions, to gather both quantitative and qualitative data. It should also be pilot tested and revised based on feedback before being administered to the actual respondents.

What should be included in the discussion section of a questionnaire survey research paper?

The discussion section of a questionnaire survey research paper should interpret the findings of the survey and relate them to the research objectives and hypothesis. It should discuss the implications of the results, compare them with previous studies, and identify any limitations or areas for further research. Additionally, the discussion should also highlight the practical applications and recommendations based on the findings.

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A critical look at online survey or questionnaire-based research studies during COVID-19

In view of restrictions imposed to control COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a surge in online survey-based studies because of its ability to collect data with greater ease and faster speed compared to traditional methods. However, there are important concerns about the validity and generalizability of findings obtained using the online survey methodology. Further, there are data privacy concerns and ethical issues unique to these studies due to the electronic and online nature of survey data. Here, we describe some of the important issues associated with poor scientific quality of online survey findings, and provide suggestions to address them in future studies going ahead.

1. Introduction

Online survey or questionnaire-based studies collect information from participants responding to the study link using internet-based communication technology (e.g. E-mail, online survey platform). There has been a growing interest among researchers for using internet-based data collection methods during the COVID-19 pandemic, also reflected in the rising number studies employing online survey to collect data since the beginning of COVID-19 pandemic ( Akintunde et al., 2021 ). This could be due to the relative ease of online data collection over traditional face-to-face interviews while following the travel restrictions and distancing guidelines for controlling the spread of COVID-19 pandemic. Further, it offers a cost-effective and faster way of data collection (with no interviewer requirement and automatic data entry) as compared to other means of remote data collection (e.g. telephonic interview) ( Hlatshwako et al., 2021 ), both of which are important for getting rapid results to guide development and implementation public-health interventions for preventing and/or mitigating the harms related to COVID-19 pandemic (e.g. mental health effects of COVID-19, misconceptions related to spread of COVID-19, factors affecting vaccine hesitancy etc.). However, there have been several concerns raised about the validity and generalizability of findings obtained from online survey studies ( Andrade et al., 2020 ; Sagar et al., 2020 ). Here, we describe some of the important issues associated with scientific quality of online survey findings, and provide suggestions to address them in future studies going ahead. The data privacy concerns and ethical issues unique to these studies due to the electronic and online nature survey data have also briefly discussed.

2. Limited generalizability of online survey sample to the target general population

The findings obtained from online surveys need to be generalized to the target population in the real world. For this, the online survey population needs to be clearly defined and should be representative of the target population as much as possible. This would be possible when there is reliable sampling frame for online surveys, and participants could be selected using randomized or probability sampling method. However, online surveys are often conducted via email or online survey platform, with survey link shared on social media platforms or websites or directory of email ids accessed by researchers. Also, participants might be asked to share the survey link further with their eligible contacts. In turn, the population from which the study sample is selected often not clearly defined, and information about response rates (i.e. out of the total number people who viewed the survey link, how many of them did actually respond) are seldom available with the researcher. This makes generalization of study findings unreliable.

This problem may be addressed by sending survey link individually to all the people comprising the study population via email and/ or telephonic message (e.g. all the members of a professional society through membership directory, people residing in a society through official records etc.), with a request not to share the survey link with anyone else. Alternatively, required number of people could be randomly selected from the entire list of potential subjects and approached telephonically for taking consent. Basic socio-demographic details could be obtained from those who refused to participate and share the survey link with those agreeing to participate. Although, if the response rates are low or the socio-demographic details of non-responders significantly differ from that of responders, then the online survey sample is unlikely to be representative of the target study population. Further, this is a more resource intensive strategy and might not be always feasible (as it requires a list of contact details for the entire study population prior to beginning of data collection). In certain situations, when the area of research is relatively new and/or needs urgent exploration for hypothesis generation or guiding immediate response; the online survey study should list all possible attempts made to achieve a representative sample and clearly acknowledge it as a limitation while discussing their study findings ( Zhou et al., 2021 ).

A more recent innovative solution to this problem involves partnership between academic institutions (Maryland University and Carnegie Mellon University) and the Facebook company for conducting online COVID-19 related research ( Barkay et al., 2020 ). The COVID-19 Symptom Survey (CSS) conducted (in more than 200 countries since April 2020) using this approach involves exchange of information between the researchers and the Facebook without compromising the data privacy of information collected from survey participants. The survey link is shared on the Facebook, and user voluntary choose to participate in the study. The Facebook’s active user base is leveraged to provide a reliable sampling frame for the CSS survey. The researchers select random ID numbers for the users who completed the survey, and calculate survey weights for each them on a given day. Survey weights adjust for both non-response errors (helps in making them sample more representative of the Facebook users) and coverage related errors (helps in making generalizing findings obtained using FAUB to the general population) ( Barkay et al., 2020 ). A respondent belonging to a demographic group with a high likelihood of responding to the survey might get a weight of 10, whereas another respondent belonging to a demographic group with less likelihood of responding to survey might get a weight of 50. It also accounts for the proportion or density of Facebook or internet users in a given geographical area. Thus, findings obtained using this approach could be used for drawing inferences about the target general population. The survey weights to be used for weighted analysis of global CSS survey findings for different geographical regions are available to researchers upon request from either of the two above-mentioned academic institutions. For example, spatio-temporal trends in COVID-19 vaccine related hesitancy across different states of India was estimated by a group of Indian researchers using this approach ( Chowdhury et al., 2021 ).

3. Survey fraud and participant disinterest

Survey fraud is when a person takes the online survey more than once with or without any malicious intent (e.g. monetary compensation, helping researchers collect the requisite number of responses). Another related problem is when the participant responds to some or all the survey questions in a casual manner without actually making any attempt at reading and/or understanding them due to reasons like participant disinterest or survey fatigue. This affects the representativeness and validity of online survey findings, and is increasingly being recognized as an important challenge for researchers ( Chandler et al., 2020 ). While providing monetary incentives improves low response rates, it also increases the risk of survey fraud. Similarly, having a shorter survey length with few simple questions decreases the chances of survey fatigue, but limits the ability of researchers to obtain meaningful information about relatively complex issues. A researcher can take different approaches to address these concerns, ranging from relatively simpler ones such as requesting people to not participate more than once, providing different kind of monetary incentives (e.g. donation to a charity instead of the participant), or manually checking survey responses for inconsistent (e.g. age and date of birth responses not consistent) or implausible response patterns (e.g. average daily smartphone use of greater than 24 h, “all or none” response pattern) to more complex ones involving use of computer software or online survey platform features to block multiple entries by same person using IP address and/or internet cookies check, analysis of response time, latency or total time taken to complete survey for detecting fraudulent responses. There have been several different ways described in the available literature to detect fraudulent or inattentive survey responses, with a discussion about merits and demerits of each of them ( Teitcher et al., 2015 ). However, no single method is completely fool proof, and it is recommended to use a combination of different methods to ensure adequate data quality in online surveys.

4. Possible bias introduced in results by the online survey administration mode

One of the contributory reasons for surge in online survey studies assessing mental health related aspects during the COVID-19 pandemic stems from the general thought that psychiatry research could be easily accomplished through scales or questionnaires administered through online survey methods, especially with the reliance on physical examination and other investigation findings being much less or non-existent. However, the reliability and validity of the scales or instruments used in online surveys have been traditionally established in studies administering them in face-to-face settings (often in pen/pencil-paper format) rather than online mode. There could be variation introduced in the results with different survey administration modes, which is often described as the measurement effect ( Jäckle et al., 2010 ). This could be due to differences in the participants’ level of engagement, understanding of questions, social desirability bias experienced across different survey administration methods. Few studies using the same study sample or sample sampling frame have compared the results obtained with difference in survey administration mode (ie. traditional face-to-face [paper format] vs. online survey), with mixed findings suggesting large significant differences to small significant difference or no significant differences ( Determann et al., 2017 , Norman et al., 2010 , Saloniki et al., 2019 ). This suggests the need for conducting further studies before arriving at a final conclusion. Hence, we need to be careful while interpreting the results of online survey studies. Ideally, online survey findings should be compared with those obtained using traditional survey administration mode, and validation studies should be conducted to establish the psychometric properties of these scales for online survey mode.

5. Inadequately described online survey methodology

A recent systematic review assessing the quality of 80 online survey based published studies assessing the mental health impact of COVID-19 pandemic, reported that a large majority of them did not adhere to the CHERRIES (Checklist for Reporting Results of Internet E-Surveys) guideline aimed at improving the quality of online surveys ( Eysenbach, 2004 , Sharma et al., 2021 ). Information related to parameters such as view rate (Ratio of unique survey visitors/unique site visitors), participation rate (Ratio of unique visitors who agreed to participate/unique first survey page visitors), and completion rate (Ratio of users who finished the survey/users who agreed to participate); which gives an idea about the representativeness of the online study sample as described previously were not mentioned in about two-third studies. Similarly, information about steps taken to prevent multiple entries by same participant or analysis of atypical timestamps to check for fraudulent and inattentive survey responses was provided by less than 5% studies. Thus, it is imperative to popularize and emphasize upon the use of these reporting guidelines for online survey studies to improve the scientific value of findings obtained from internet-based studies.

6. Data privacy and ethics of online survey studies

Lastly, most of the online survey studies either did not mention at all or mentioned in passing about maintain the anonymity and confidentiality of information obtained from online survey. However, details about the various steps or precautions taken by the researchers to ensure data safety and privacy were seldom mentioned (e.g. de-identified data, encryption process or password protected data storage, use of HIPAA-compliant online survey form/platform etc.). The details and limitations of safety steps taken, and the possibility of data leak should be clearly mentioned/ communicated to participants at the time of taking informed consent (rather than simply mentioning anonymity and confidentiality of information obtained will be ensured, as is the case with offline studies). Moreover, obtaining ethical approval prior to conducting online survey studies is a must. The various ethical concerns unique to online survey methodology (e.g. issues with data protection, informed consent process, survey fraud, online survey administration etc.) should be adequately described in the protocol and deliberated upon by the review boards ( Buchanan and Hvizdak, 2009 , Gupta, 2017 ).

In conclusion, there is an urgent need to consider the above described issues while planning and conducting an online survey, and also reviewing the findings obtained from these studies to improve the overall quality and utility of internet-based research during COVID-19 and post-COVID era.

Financial disclosure

The authors did not receive any funding for this work.


Conflict of interest.

The authors have no conflict of interest to declare.

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28 Questionnaire Examples, Questions, & Templates to Survey Your Clients

Swetha Amaresan

Published: May 15, 2023

The adage "the customer is always right" has received some pushback in recent years, but when it comes to conducting surveys , the phrase is worth a deeper look. In the past, representatives were tasked with solving client problems as they happened. Now, they have to be proactive by solving problems before they come up.

Person fills out a questionnaire surrounded by question mark scrabble tiles

Salesforce found that 63% of customers expect companies to anticipate their needs before they ask for help. But how can a customer service team recognize these customer needs in advance and effectively solve them on a day-to-day basis?

→ Free Download: 5 Customer Survey Templates [Access Now]

A customer questionnaire is a tried-and-true method for collecting survey data to inform your customer service strategy . By hearing directly from the customer, you'll capture first-hand data about how well your service team meets their needs. In this article, you'll get free questionnaire templates and best practices on how to administer them for the most honest responses.

Table of Contents:

Questionnaire Definition

Survey vs. questionnaire, questionnaire templates.

  • Questionnaire Examples

Questionnaire Design

Survey question examples.

  • Examples of Good Survey Questions

How to Make a Questionnaire

A questionnaire is a research tool used to conduct surveys. It includes specific questions with the goal to understand a topic from the respondents' point of view. Questionnaires typically have closed-ended, open-ended, short-form, and long-form questions.

The questions should always stay as unbiased as possible. For instance, it's unwise to ask for feedback on a specific product or service that’s still in the ideation phase. To complete the questionnaire, the customer would have to imagine how they might experience the product or service rather than sharing their opinion about their actual experience with it.

Ask broad questions about the kinds of qualities and features your customers enjoy in your products or services and incorporate that feedback into new offerings your team is developing.

What makes a good questionnaire?

Define the goal, make it short and simple, use a mix of question types, proofread carefully, keep it consistent.

A good questionnaire should find what you need versus what you want. It should be valuable and give you a chance to understand the respondent’s point of view.

Make the purpose of your questionnaire clear. While it's tempting to ask a range of questions simultaneously, you'll get more valuable results if you stay specific to a set topic.

According to HubSpot research , 47% of those surveyed say their top reason for abandoning a survey is the time it takes to complete.

So, questionnaires should be concise and easy to finish. If you're looking for a respondent’s experience with your business, focus on the most important questions.

research paper survey example

5 Free Customer Satisfaction Survey Templates

Easily measure customer satisfaction and begin to improve your customer experience.

  • Net Promoter Score
  • Customer Effort Score

You're all set!

Click this link to access this resource at any time.

5 Customer Survey Templates

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Your questionnaire should include a combination of question types, like open-ended, long-form, or short-ended questions.

Open-ended questions give users a chance to share their own answers. But closed-ended questions are more efficient and easy to quantify, with specific answer choices.

If you're not sure which question types are best, read here for more survey question examples .

While it's important to check spelling and grammar, there are two other things you'll want to check for a great questionnaire.

First, edit for clarity. Jargon, technical terms, and brand-specific language can be confusing for respondents. Next, check for leading questions. These questions can produce biased results that will be less useful to your team.

Consistency makes it easier for respondents to quickly complete your questionnaire. This is because it makes the questions less confusing. It can also reduce bias.

Being consistent is also helpful for analyzing questionnaire data because it makes it easier to compare results. With this in mind, keep response scales, question types, and formatting consistent.

In-Depth Interviews vs. Questionnaire

Questionnaires can be a more feasible and efficient research method than in-depth interviews. They are a lot cheaper to conduct. That’s because in-depth interviews can require you to compensate the interviewees for their time and give accommodations and travel reimbursement.

Questionnaires also save time for both parties. Customers can quickly complete them on their own time, and employees of your company don't have to spend time conducting the interviews. They can capture a larger audience than in-depth interviews, making them much more cost-effective.

It would be impossible for a large company to interview tens of thousands of customers in person. The same company could potentially get feedback from its entire customer base using an online questionnaire.

When considering your current products and services (as well as ideas for new products and services), it's essential to get the feedback of existing and potential customers. They are the ones who have a say in purchasing decisions.

A questionnaire is a tool that’s used to conduct a survey. A survey is the process of gathering, sampling, analyzing, and interpreting data from a group of people.

The confusion between these terms most likely stems from the fact that questionnaires and data analysis were treated as very separate processes before the Internet became popular. Questionnaires used to be completed on paper, and data analysis occurred later as a separate process. Nowadays, these processes are typically combined since online survey tools allow questionnaire responses to be analyzed and aggregated all in one step.

But questionnaires can still be used for reasons other than data analysis. Job applications and medical history forms are examples of questionnaires that have no intention of being statistically analyzed. The key difference between questionnaires and surveys is that they can exist together or separately.

Below are some of the best free questionnaire templates you can download to gather data that informs your next product or service offering.

What makes a good survey question?

Have a goal in mind, draft clear and distinct answers and questions, ask one question at a time, check for bias and sensitivity, include follow-up questions.

To make a good survey question, you have to choose the right type of questions to use. Include concise, clear, and appropriate questions with answer choices that won’t confuse the respondent and will clearly offer data on their experience.

Good survey questions can give a business good data to examine. Here are some more tips to follow as you draft your survey questions.

To make a good survey, consider what you are trying to learn from it. Understanding why you need to do a survey will help you create clear and concise questions that you need to ask to meet your goal. The more your questions focus on one or two objectives, the better your data will be.

You have a goal in mind for your survey. Now you have to write the questions and answers depending on the form you’re using.

For instance, if you’re using ranks or multiple-choice in your survey, be clear. Here are examples of good and poor multiple-choice answers:

Poor Survey Question and Answer Example


  • Contains the tallest mountain in the United States.
  • Has an eagle on its state flag.
  • Is the second-largest state in terms of area.
  • Was the location of the Gold Rush of 1849.

Good Survey Question and Answer Example

What is the main reason so many people moved to California in 1849?

  • California's land was fertile, plentiful, and inexpensive.
  • The discovery of gold in central California.
  • The East was preparing for a civil war.
  • They wanted to establish religious settlements.

In the poor example, the question may confuse the respondent because it's not clear what is being asked or how the answers relate to the question. The survey didn’t fully explain the question, and the options are also confusing.

In the good example above, the question and answer choices are clear and easy to understand.

Always make sure answers and questions are clear and distinct to create a good experience for the respondent. This will offer your team the best outcomes from your survey.

It's surprisingly easy to combine multiple questions into one. They even have a name — they’re called "double-barreled" questions. But a good survey asks one question at a time.

For example, a survey question could read, "What is your favorite sneaker and clothing apparel brand?" This is bad because you’re asking two questions at once.

By asking two questions simultaneously, you may confuse your respondents and get unclear answers. Instead, each question should focus on getting specific pieces of information.

For example, ask, "What is your favorite sneaker brand?" then, "What is your favorite clothing apparel brand?" By separating the questions, you allow your respondents to give separate and precise answers.

Biased questions can lead a respondent toward a specific response. They can also be vague or unclear. Sensitive questions such as age, religion, or marital status can be helpful for demographics. These questions can also be uncomfortable for people to answer.

There are a few ways to create a positive experience with your survey questions.

First, think about question placement. Sensitive questions that appear in context with other survey questions can help people understand why you are asking. This can make them feel more comfortable responding.

Next, check your survey for leading questions, assumptions, and double-barreled questions. You want to make sure that your survey is neutral and free of bias.

Asking more than one survey question about an area of interest can make a survey easier to understand and complete. It also helps you collect more in-depth insights from your respondents.

1. Free HubSpot Questionnaire Template

HubSpot offers a variety of free customer surveys and questionnaire templates to analyze and measure customer experience. Choose from five templates: net promoter score, customer satisfaction, customer effort, open-ended questions, and long-form customer surveys.

2. Client Questionnaire Template

It's a good idea to gauge your clients' experiences with your business to uncover opportunities to improve your offerings. That will, in turn, better suit their lifestyles. You don't have to wait for an entire year to pass before polling your customer base about their experience either. A simple client questionnaire, like the one below, can be administered as a micro survey several times throughout the year. These types of quick survey questions work well to retarget your existing customers through social media polls and paid interactive ads.

1. How much time do you spend using [product or service]?

  • Less than a minute
  • About 1 - 2 minutes
  • Between 2 and 5 minutes
  • More than 5 minutes

2. In the last month, what has been your biggest pain point?

  • Finding enough time for important tasks
  • Delegating work
  • Having enough to do

3. What's your biggest priority right now?

  • Finding a faster way to work
  • Problem-solving
  • Staff development


3. Website Questionnaire Template

Whether you just launched a brand new website or you're gathering data points to inform a redesign, you'll find customer feedback to be essential in both processes. A website questionnaire template will come in handy to collect this information using an unbiased method.

1. How many times have you visited [website] in the past month?

  • More than once

2. What is the primary reason for your visit to [website]?

  • To make a purchase
  • To find more information before making a purchase in-store
  • To contact customer service

3. Are you able to find what you're looking for on the website homepage?

4. Customer Satisfaction Questionnaire Template

If you've never surveyed your customers and are looking for a template to get started, this one includes some basic customer satisfaction questions. These will apply to just about any customer your business serves.

1. How likely are you to recommend us to family, friends, or colleagues?

  • Extremely unlikely
  • Somewhat unlikely
  • Somewhat likely
  • Extremely likely

2. How satisfied were you with your experience?

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10

3. Rank the following items in terms of their priority to your purchasing process.

  • Helpful staff
  • Quality of product
  • Price of product
  • Ease of purchase
  • Proximity of store
  • Online accessibility
  • Current need
  • Appearance of product

4. Who did you purchase these products for?

  • Family member
  • On behalf of a business

5. Please rate our staff on the following terms:

  • Friendly __ __ __ __ __ Hostile
  • Helpful __ __ __ __ __ Useless
  • Knowledgeable __ __ __ __ __ Inexperienced
  • Professional __ __ __ __ __ Inappropriate

6. Would you purchase from our company again?

7. How can we improve your experience for the future?


5. Customer Effort Score Questionnaire Template

The following template gives an example of a brief customer effort score (CES) questionnaire. This free template works well for new customers to measure their initial reaction to your business.

1. What was the ease of your experience with our company?

  • Extremely difficult
  • Somewhat difficult
  • Somewhat easy
  • Extremely easy

2. The company did everything it could to make my process as easy as possible.

  • Strongly disagree
  • Somewhat disagree
  • Somewhat agree
  • Strongly agree

3. On a scale of 1 to 10 (1 being "extremely quickly" and 10 being "extremely slowly"), how fast were you able to solve your problem?

4. How much effort did you have to put forth while working with our company?

  • Much more than expected
  • Somewhat more than expected
  • As much as expected
  • Somewhat less than expected
  • Much less than expected

6. Demographic Questionnaire Template

Here's a template for surveying customers to learn more about their demographic background. You could substantiate the analysis of this questionnaire by corroborating the data with other information from your web analytics, internal customer data, and industry data.

1. How would you describe your employment status?

  • Employed full-time
  • Employed part-time
  • Freelance/contract employee
  • Self-employed

2. How many employees work at your company?

3. How would you classify your role?

  • Individual Contributor

4. How would you classify your industry?

  • Technology/software
  • Hospitality/dining
  • Entertainment

Below, we have curated a list of questionnaire examples that do a great job of gathering valuable qualitative and quantitative data.

4 Questionnaire Examples

1. customer satisfaction questions.

patient satisfaction survey

Survey question examples: Multiple choice

Image Source

Rating Scale

Rating scale questions offer a scale of numbers and ask respondents to rate topics based on the sentiments assigned to that scale. This is effective when assessing customer satisfaction.

Rating scale survey question examples : "Rate your level of satisfaction with the customer service you received today on a scale of 1-10."

Survey question examples: Rating Scale

Yes or no survey questions are a type of dichotomous question. These are questions that only offer two possible responses. They’re useful because they’re quick to answer and can help with customer segmentation.

Yes or no survey questions example : "Have you ever used HubSpot before?"

Likert Scale

Likert scale questions assess whether a respondent agrees with the statement, as well as the extent to which they agree or disagree.

These questions typically offer five or seven responses, with sentiments ranging from items such as "strongly disagree" to "strongly agree." Check out this post to learn more about the Likert scale .

Likert scale survey question examples : “How satisfied are you with the service from [brand]?”

Survey question examples: Likert Scale

Open-ended questions ask a broader question or offer a chance to elaborate on a response to a close-ended question. They're accompanied by a text box that leaves room for respondents to write freely. This is particularly important when asking customers to expand on an experience or recommendation.

Open-ended survey question examples : "What are your personal goals for using HubSpot? Please describe."

Survey question examples: Open-Ended

Matrix Table

A matrix table is usually a group of multiple-choice questions grouped in a table. Choices for these survey questions are usually organized in a scale. This makes it easier to understand the relationships between different survey responses.

Matrix table survey question examples : "Rate your level of agreement with the following statements about HubSpot on a scale of 1-5."

Survey question examples: Matrix table

Rank Order Scaling

These questions ask respondents to rank a set of terms by order of preference or importance. This is useful for understanding customer priorities.

Rank order scaling examples : "Rank the following factors in order of importance when choosing a new job."

Survey question examples: Rank order scaling

Semantic Differential Scale

This scale features pairs of opposite adjectives that respondents use for rating, usually for a feature or experience. This type of question makes it easier to understand customer attitudes and beliefs.

Semantic differential scale question examples : "Rate your overall impression of this brand as friendly vs. unfriendly, innovative vs. traditional, and boring vs. exciting."

Survey question examples: Semantic differential scale

Side-By-Side Matrix

This matrix table format includes two sets of questions horizontally for easy comparison. This format can help with customer gap analysis.

Side-by-side matrix question examples : "Rate your level of satisfaction with HubSpot's customer support compared to its ease of use."

Survey question examples: Side-by-side matrix

Stapel Scale

The Stapel rating scale offers a single adjective or idea for rating. It uses a numerical scale with a zero point in the middle. This survey question type helps with in-depth analysis.

Stapel scale survey question examples : "Rate your overall experience with this product as +5 (excellent) to -5 (terrible)."

Survey question examples: Stapel scale

Constant Sum Survey Questions

In this question format, people distribute points to different choices based on the perceived importance of each point. This kind of question is often used in market research and can help your team better understand customer choices .

Constant sum survey question examples : "What is your budget for the following marketing expenses: Paid campaigns, Events, Freelancers, Agencies, Research."

Survey question examples: Constant sum

Image Choice

This survey question type shows several images. Then, it asks the respondent to choose the image that best matches their response to the question. These questions are useful for understanding your customers’ design preferences.

Image choice survey questions example : "Which of these three images best represents your brand voice?"

Survey question examples: Image chooser

Choice Model

This survey question offers a hypothetical scenario, then the respondent must choose from the presented options. It's a useful type of question when you are refining a product or strategy.

Choice model survey questions example : "Which of these three deals would be most appealing to you?"

Click Map Questions

Click map questions offer an image click on specific areas of the image in response to a question. This question uses data visualization to learn about customer preferences for design and user experience.

Click map question examples : "Click on the section of the website where you would expect to find pricing information."

Survey question examples: Choice model

Data Upload

This survey question example asks the respondent to upload a file or document in response to a question. This type of survey question can help your team collect data and context that might be tough to collect otherwise.

Data upload question examples : "Please upload a screenshot of the error you encountered during your purchase."

Survey question examples: Data Upload

Benchmarkable Questions

This question type asks a respondent to compare their answers to a group or benchmark. These questions can be useful if you're trying to compare buyer personas or other customer groups.

Benchmarkable survey questions example : "Compare your company's marketing budget to other companies in your industry."

Good Survey Questions

  • What is your favorite product?
  • Why did you purchase this product?
  • How satisfied are you with [product]?
  • Would you recommend [product] to a friend?
  • Would you recommend [company name] to a friend?
  • If you could change one thing about [product], what would it be?
  • Which other options were you considering before [product or company name]?
  • Did [product] help you accomplish your goal?
  • How would you feel if we did not offer this product, feature, or service?
  • What would you miss the most if you couldn't use your favorite product from us?
  • What is one word that best describes your experience using our product?
  • What's the primary reason for canceling your account?
  • How satisfied are you with our customer support?
  • Did we answer all of your questions and concerns?
  • How can we be more helpful?
  • What additional features would you like to see in this product?
  • Are we meeting your expectations?
  • How satisfied are you with your experience?

1. "What is your favorite product?"

This question is a great starter for your survey. Most companies want to know what their most popular products are, and this question cuts right to the point.

It's important to note that this question gives you the customer's perspective, not empirical evidence. You should compare the results to your inventory to see if your customers' answers match your actual sales. You may be surprised to find your customers' "favorite" product isn't the highest-selling one.

2. "Why did you purchase this product?"

Once you know their favorite product, you need to understand why they like it so much. The qualitative data will help your marketing and sales teams attract and engage customers. They'll know which features to advertise most and can seek out new leads similar to your existing customers.

3. "How satisfied are you with [product]?"

When you have a product that isn't selling, you can ask this question to see why customers are unhappy with it. If the reviews are poor, you'll know that the product needs reworking, and you can send it back to product management for improvement. Or, if these results are positive, they may have something to do with your marketing or sales techniques. You can then gather more info during the questionnaire and restrategize your campaigns based on your findings.

4. "Would you recommend [product] to a friend?"

This is a classic survey question used with most NPS® surveys. It asks the customer if they would recommend your product to one of their peers. This is extremely important because most people trust customer referrals more than traditional advertising. So, if your customers are willing to recommend your products, you'll have an easier time acquiring new leads.

5. "Would you recommend [company name] to a friend?"

Similar to the question above, this one asks the customer to consider your business as a whole and not just your product. This gives you insight into your brand's reputation and shows how customers feel about your company's actions. Even if you have an excellent product, your brand's reputation may be the cause of customer churn . Your marketing team should pay close attention to this question to see how they can improve the customer experience .

6. "If you could change one thing about [product], what would it be?"

This is a good question to ask your most loyal customers or ones that have recently churned. For loyal customers, you want to keep adding value to their experience. Asking how your product can improve helps your development team find flaws and increases your chances of retaining a valuable customer segment.

For customers that have recently churned, this question gives insight into how you can retain future users that are unhappy with your product or service. By giving these customers a space to voice their criticisms, you can either reach out and offer solutions or relay feedback for consideration.

7. "Which other options were you considering before [product or company name]?"

If you're operating in a competitive industry, customers will have more than one choice when considering your brand. And if you sell variations of your product or produce new models periodically, customers may prefer one version over another.

For this question, you should offer answers to choose from in a multiple-selection format. This will limit the types of responses you'll receive and help you get the exact information you need.

8. "Did [product] help you accomplish your goal?"

The purpose of any product or service is to help customers reach a goal. So, you should be direct and ask them if your company steered them toward success. After all, customer success is an excellent retention tool. If customers are succeeding with your product, they're more likely to stay loyal to your brand.

9. "How would you feel if we did not offer this product, feature, or service?"

Thinking about discontinuing a product? This question can help you decide whether or not a specific product, service, or feature will be missed if you were to remove it.

Even if you know that a product or service isn't worth offering, it's important to ask this question anyway because there may be a certain aspect of the product that your customers like. They'll be delighted if you can integrate that feature into a new product or service.

10. "If you couldn't use your favorite product from us, what would you miss the most about it?"

This question pairs well with the one above because it frames the customer's favorite product from a different point of view. Instead of describing why they love a particular product, the customer can explain what they'd be missing if they didn't have it at all. This type of question uncovers "fear of loss," which can be a very different motivating factor than "hope for gain."

11. "What word best describes your experience using our product?"

Your marketing team will love this question. A single word or a short phrase can easily sum up your customers’ emotions when they experience your company, product, or brand. Those emotions can be translated into relatable marketing campaigns that use your customers’ exact language.

If the responses reveal negative emotions, it's likely that your entire customer service team can relate to that pain point. Rather than calling it "a bug in the system," you can describe the problem as a "frustrating roadblock" to keep their experience at the forefront of the solution.

12. "What's the primary reason for canceling your account?"

Finding out why customers are unhappy with your product or service is key to decreasing your churn rate . If you don't understand why people leave your brand, it's hard to make effective changes to prevent future turnover. Or worse, you might alter your product or service in a way that increases your churn rate, causing you to lose customers who were once loyal supporters.

13. "How satisfied are you with our customer support?"

It's worth asking customers how happy they are with your support or service team. After all, an excellent product doesn't always guarantee that customers will stay loyal to your brand. Research shows that one in six customers will leave a brand they love after just one poor service experience.

14. "Did we answer all of your questions and concerns?"

This is a good question to ask after a service experience. It shows how thorough your support team is and whether they're prioritizing speed too much over quality. If customers still have questions and concerns after a service interaction, your support team is focusing too much on closing tickets and not enough on meeting customer needs .

15. "How can we be more helpful?"

Sometimes it's easier to be direct and simply ask customers what else you can do to help them. This shows a genuine interest in your buyers' goals which helps your brand foster meaningful relationships with its customer base. The more you can show that you sincerely care about your customers' problems, the more they'll open up to you and be honest about how you can help them.

16. What additional features would you like to see in this product?

With this question, your team can get inspiration for the company's next product launch. Think of the responses as a wish list from your customers. You can discover what features are most valuable to them and whether they already exist within a competitor's product.

Incorporating every feature suggestion is nearly impossible, but it's a convenient way to build a backlog of ideas that can inspire future product releases.

17. "Are we meeting your expectations?"

This is a really important question to ask because customers won't always tell you when they're unhappy with your service. Not every customer will ask to speak with a manager when they're unhappy with your business. In fact, most will quietly move on to a competitor rather than broadcast their unhappiness to your company. To prevent this type of customer churn, you need to be proactive and ask customers if your brand is meeting their expectations.

18. "How satisfied are you with your experience?"

This question asks the customer to summarize their experience with your business. It gives you a snapshot of how the customer is feeling in that moment and their perception of your brand. Asking this question at the right stage in the customer's journey can tell you a lot about what your company is doing well and where you can stand to improve.

Next, let's dig into some tips for creating your own questionnaire.

Start with templates as a foundation. Know your question types. Keep it brief when possible. Choose a simple visual design. Use a clear research process. Create questions with straightforward, unbiased language. Make sure every question is important. Ask one question at a time. Order your questions logically. Consider your target audience. Test your questionnaire.

1. Use questionnaire templates.

Rather than build a questionnaire from scratch, consider using questionnaire templates to get started. HubSpot's collection of customer-facing questionnaire templates can help you quickly build and send a questionnaire to your clients and analyze the results right on Google Drive.

net promoter score questionnaire templates

Vrnda LeValley , customer training manager at HubSpot, recommends starting with an alignment question like, "Does this class meet your expectations?" because it gives more context to any positive or negative scores that follow. She continues, "If it didn't meet expectations, then there will potentially be negative responses across the board (as well as the reverse)."

3. Keep it brief, when possible.

Most questionnaires don't need to be longer than a page. For routine customer satisfaction surveys, it's unnecessary to ask 50 slightly varied questions about a customer's experience when those questions could be combined into 10 solid questions.

The shorter your questionnaire is, the more likely a customer will complete it. Plus a shorter questionnaire means less data for your team to collect and analyze. Based on the feedback, it will be a lot easier for you to get the information you need to make the necessary changes in your organization and products.

4. Choose a simple visual design.

There's no need to make your questionnaire a stunning work of art. As long as it's clear and concise, it will be attractive to customers. When asking questions that are important to furthering your company, it's best to keep things simple. Select a font that’s common and easy to read, like Helvetica or Arial. Use a text size that customers of all abilities can navigate.

A questionnaire is most effective when all the questions are visible on a single screen. The layout is important. If a questionnaire is even remotely difficult to navigate, your response rate could suffer. Make sure that buttons and checkboxes are easy to click and that questions are visible on both computer and mobile screens.

5. Use a clear research process.

Before planning questions for your questionnaire, you'll need to have a definite direction for it. A questionnaire is only effective if the results answer an overarching research question. After all, the research process is an important part of the survey, and a questionnaire is a tool that's used within the process.

In your research process, you should first come up with a research question. What are you trying to find out? What's the point of this questionnaire? Keep this in mind throughout the process.

After coming up with a research question, it's a good idea to have a hypothesis. What do you predict the results will be for your questionnaire? This can be structured in a simple "If … then …" format. A structured experiment — yes, your questionnaire is a type of experiment — will confirm that you're only collecting and analyzing data necessary to answer your research question. Then, you can move forward with your survey .

6. Create questions with straightforward, unbiased language.

When crafting your questions, it's important to structure them to get the point across. You don't want any confusion for your customers because this may influence their answers. Instead, use clear language. Don't use unnecessary jargon, and use simple terms in favor of longer-winded ones.

You may risk the reliability of your data if you try to combine two questions. Rather than asking, "How was your experience shopping with us, and would you recommend us to others?" separate it into two separate questions. Customers will be clear on your question and choose a response most appropriate for each one.

You should always keep the language in your questions unbiased. You never want to sway customers one way or another because this will cause your data to be skewed. Instead of asking, "Some might say that we create the best software products in the world. Would you agree or disagree?" it may be better to ask, "How would you rate our software products on a scale of 1 to 10?" This removes any bias and confirms that all the responses are valid.

7. Ask only the most important questions.

When creating your questionnaire, keep in mind that time is one of the most valuable commodities for customers. Most aren't going to sit through a 50-question survey, especially when they're being asked about products or services they didn't use. Even if they do complete it, most of these will be half-hearted responses from fatigued customers who simply want to be finished with it.

If your questionnaire has five or 55 questions, make sure each has a specific purpose. Individually, they should be aimed at collecting certain pieces of information that reveal new insights into different aspects of your business. If your questions are irrelevant or seem out of place, your customers will be easily derailed by the survey. And, once the customer has lost interest, it'll be difficult to regain their focus.

8. Ask one question at a time.

Since every question has a purpose, ask them one at a time. This lets the customer focus and encourages them to share a thoughtful response. This is particularly important for open-ended questions where customers need to describe an experience or opinion.

By grouping questions together, you risk overwhelming busy customers who don't have time for a long survey. They may think you're asking them too much, or they might see your questionnaire as a daunting task. You want your survey to appear as painless as possible. Keeping your questions separated will make it more user-friendly.

9. Order your questions logically.

A good questionnaire is like a good book. The beginning questions should lay the framework, the middle ones should cut to the core issues, and the final questions should tie up all loose ends. This flow keeps customers engaged throughout the entire survey.

When creating your questionnaire, start with the most basic questions about demographics. You can use this information to segment your customer base and create different buyer personas.

Next, add in your product and services questions. These are the ones that offer insights into common customer roadblocks and where you can improve your business's offerings. Questions like these guide your product development and marketing teams looking for new ways to enhance the customer experience.

Finally, you should conclude your questionnaire with open-ended questions to understand the customer journey. These questions let customers voice their opinions and point out specific experiences they've had with your brand.

10. Consider your target audience.

Whenever you collect customer feedback, you need to keep in mind the goals and needs of your target audience. After all, the participants in this questionnaire are your active customers. Your questions should be geared toward the interests and experiences they've already had with your company.

You can even create multiple surveys that target different buyer personas. For example, if you have a subscription-based pricing model, you can personalize your questionnaire for each type of subscription your company offers.

11. Test your questionnaire.

Once your questionnaire is complete, it's important to test it. If you don't, you may end up asking the wrong questions and collecting irrelevant or inaccurate information. Start by giving your employees the questionnaire to test, then send it to small groups of customers and analyze the results. If you're gathering the data you're looking for, then you should release the questionnaire to all of your customers.

How Questionnaires Can Benefit Your Customer Service Strategy

Whether you have one customer or 1000 customers, their opinions matter when it comes to the success of your business. Their satisfaction with your offerings can reveal how well or how poorly your customer service strategy and business are meeting their needs. A questionnaire is one of the most powerful, cost-effective tools to uncover what your customers think about your business. When analyzed properly, it can inform your product and service launches.

Use the free questionnaire templates, examples, and best practices in this guide to conduct your next customer feedback survey.

Now that you know the slight difference between a survey and a questionnaire, it’s time to put it into practice with your products or services. Remember, a good survey and questionnaire always start with a purpose. But, a great survey and questionnaire give data that you can use to help companies increase the way customers respond to their products or services because of the questions.

Net Promoter, Net Promoter System, Net Promoter Score, NPS, and the NPS-related emoticons are registered trademarks of Bain & Company, Inc., Fred Reichheld, and Satmetrix Systems, Inc.

Editor's note: This post was originally published in July 2018 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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  • Published: 09 February 2024

Globally representative evidence on the actual and perceived support for climate action

  • Peter Andre   ORCID: 1 ,
  • Teodora Boneva   ORCID: 2 ,
  • Felix Chopra   ORCID: 3 &
  • Armin Falk   ORCID: 2  

Nature Climate Change ( 2024 ) Cite this article

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  • Climate-change mitigation
  • Psychology and behaviour

Mitigating climate change necessitates global cooperation, yet global data on individuals’ willingness to act remain scarce. In this study, we conducted a representative survey across 125 countries, interviewing nearly 130,000 individuals. Our findings reveal widespread support for climate action. Notably, 69% of the global population expresses a willingness to contribute 1% of their personal income, 86% endorse pro-climate social norms and 89% demand intensified political action. Countries facing heightened vulnerability to climate change show a particularly high willingness to contribute. Despite these encouraging statistics, we document that the world is in a state of pluralistic ignorance, wherein individuals around the globe systematically underestimate the willingness of their fellow citizens to act. This perception gap, combined with individuals showing conditionally cooperative behaviour, poses challenges to further climate action. Therefore, raising awareness about the broad global support for climate action becomes critically important in promoting a unified response to climate change.

The world’s climate is a global common good and protecting it requires the cooperative effort of individuals across the globe. Consequently, the ‘human factor’ is critical and renders the behavioural science perspective on climate change indispensable for effective climate action. Despite its importance, limited knowledge exists regarding the willingness of the global population to cooperate and act against climate change 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 , 6 , 7 , 8 . To fill this gap, we designed and conducted a globally representative survey in 125 countries, with the aim of examining the potential for successful global climate action. The central question we seek to answer is to what extent are individuals around the globe willing to contribute to the common good, and how do people perceive other people’s willingness to contribute (WTC)?

Drawing on a multidisciplinary literature on the foundations of cooperation, our study focuses on four aspects that have been identified as critical in promoting cooperation in the context of common goods: the individual willingness to make costly contributions, the approval of pro-climate norms, the demand for political action and beliefs about the support of others. We start with exploring the individual willingness to make costly contributions to act against climate change, which is particularly relevant given that cooperation is costly and involves free-rider incentives 9 . Using a behaviourally validated measure, we assess the extent to which individuals around the globe are willing to contribute a share of their income, and which factors predict the observed cross-country variation.

Furthermore, the provision of common goods crucially depends on the existence and enforcement of social norms. These norms prescribe cooperative behaviour 10 , 11 , 12 , 13 , 14 , 15 and affect behaviour either through internalization (shame and guilt 16 ) or the enforcement of norms by fellow citizens (sanctions and approval 17 ). In our survey, we elicit support for pro-climate social norms and examine the extent to which such norms have emerged globally.

It is widely recognized that addressing common-good problems effectively necessitates institutions and concerted political action 18 , 19 , 20 . In democracies, the implementation of effective climate policies relies on popular support, and even in non-democratic societies, leaders remain attentive to prevailing political demands. Therefore, we also elicit the demand for political action as a critical input in the fight against climate change 21 .

Previous research in the behavioural sciences has shown that many individuals can be characterized as conditional cooperators 22 , 23 , 24 , 25 , 26 . This means that individuals are more likely to contribute to the common good when they believe others also contribute. We test this central psychological mechanism of cooperation using our data on actual and perceived WTC. Moreover, we investigate whether beliefs about others’ WTC are well calibrated or whether they are systematically biased. If beliefs are overly pessimistic, this would imply that the world is in a state of pluralistic ignorance 27 , where systematic misperceptions about others’ WTC hinder cooperation and reinforce further pessimism. In such an equilibrium, correcting beliefs holds tremendous potential for fostering cooperation 28 , 29 , 30 , 31 .

The global survey

To obtain globally representative evidence on the willingness to act against climate change, we designed the Global Climate Change Survey. The survey was administered as part of the Gallup World Poll 2021/2022 in a large and diverse set of countries ( N  = 125) using a common sampling and survey methodology ( Methods ). The countries included in this study account for 96% of the world’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, 96% of the world’s gross domestic product (GDP) and 92% of the global population. To ensure national representativeness, each country sample is randomly selected from the resident population aged 15 and above. Interviews were conducted via telephone (common in high-income countries) or face to face (common in low-income countries), with randomly drawn phone numbers or addresses. Most country samples include approximately 1,000 respondents, and the global sample comprises a total of 129,902 individuals.

To assess respondents’ willingness to incur a cost to act against climate change, we elicit their willingness to contribute a fraction of their income to climate action. More specifically, we ask respondents whether they would be ‘willing to contribute 1% of [their] household income every month to fight global warming’ (answered yes or no), and, if not, whether they would be willing to contribute a smaller amount (yes or no). To account for the substantial variation in income levels across countries, the question is framed in relative terms. Respondents’ answers thus reflect how strongly they value climate action relative to alternative uses of their income. The figure of 1% is deliberately chosen as it falls within the range of plausible previously reported estimates of climate change mitigation costs 32 , 33 .

Our WTC measure has been empirically validated and shown to predict incentivized pro-climate donation decisions ( Methods ). In a representative US sample 30 , respondents who state they would be willing to contribute 1% of their monthly income donate 43% more money to a climate charity ( P  < 0.001 for a two-sided t -test, N  = 1,993; Supplementary Fig. 1 ) and are 21–39 percentage points more likely to avoid fossil-fuel-based means of transport (car and plane), restrict their meat consumption, use renewable energy or adapt their shopping behaviour (all P  < 0.001 for two-sided t -tests, N  = 1,996; Supplementary Table 1 ).

To measure respondents’ beliefs about other people’s WTC, we first tell respondents that we are surveying many other individuals in their country about their willingness to contribute 1% of their household income every month to fight global warming. We then ask respondents to estimate how many out of 100 other individuals in their country would be willing to contribute this amount, that is, possible answers range from 0 to 100.

To assess individual approval of pro-climate social norms, we ask respondents to indicate whether they think that people in their country ‘should try to fight global warming’ (answered yes or no). Following recent research on social norms 15 , 34 , the item elicits respondents’ views about what other people should do, that is, what kind of behaviour they consider normatively appropriate (so-called injunctive norms 10 ).

Finally, we measure demand for political action by asking respondents whether they think that their ‘national government should do more to fight global warming’ (answered yes or no). This item assesses the extent to which individuals regard their government’s current efforts as insufficient and sheds light on the potential for increased political action in the future.

The approval of pro-climate norms and the demand for political action are deliberately measured in a general manner to account for the fact that suitable concrete mitigation strategies may differ across countries. Our general measures strongly correlate with the approval of specific pro-climate norms and the demand for concrete policy measures ( Methods ). In a representative US sample, individuals who approve of the general norm to act against climate change are substantially more likely to state that individuals ‘should try to’ avoid fossil-fuel-based means of transport (car and plane), restrict their meat consumption, use renewable energy or adapt their shopping behaviour (correlation coefficients ρ between 0.35 and 0.51, all P  < 0.001 for two-sided t -tests, N  = 1,994; Supplementary Table 2 ). Similarly, the general demand for more political action is strongly correlated with demand for specific climate policies, such as a carbon tax on fossil fuels, regulatory limits on the CO 2 emissions of coal-fired plants, or funding for research on renewable energy ( ρ between 0.49 and 0.59, all P  < 0.001 for two-sided t -tests, N  = 1,996; Supplementary Table 3 ).

To ensure comparability across countries and cultures, professional translators translated the survey into the local languages following best practices in survey translation by using an elaborate multi-step translation procedure. The survey was extensively pre-tested in multiple countries of diverse cultural heritage to ensure that respondents with different cultural, economic and educational backgrounds could comprehend the questions in a comparable way. We deliberately refer to ‘global warming’ rather than ‘climate change’ throughout the survey to prevent confusion with seasonal changes in weather 35 , 36 , and provide all respondents with a brief definition of global warming to ensure a common understanding of the term.

A list of variables, definitions and sources is available in Methods . In all analyses, we use Gallup’s sampling weights, which were calculated by Gallup in multiple stages. A probability weight factor (base weight) was constructed to correct for unequal selection probabilities resulting from the stratified random sampling procedure. At the next step, the base weights were post-stratified to adjust for non-response and to match the weighted sample totals to known population statistics. The standard demographic variables used for post-stratification are age, gender, education and region. When describing the data at the supranational level, we also weight each country sample by its share of the world population.

Widespread global support for climate action

The globally representative data reveal strong support for climate action around the world. First, a large majority of individuals—69%—state they would be willing to contribute 1% of their household income every month to fight global warming (Fig. 1a ). An additional 6% report they would be willing to contribute a smaller fraction of their income, and 26% state they would not be willing to contribute any amount. The proportion of respondents willing to contribute 1% of their income varies considerably across countries (Fig. 1b ), ranging from 30% to 93%. In the vast majority of countries (114 of 125) the proportion is greater than 50%, and in a large number of countries (81 of 125) the proportion is greater than two-thirds.

figure 1

a , c , e , The global average proportions of respondents willing to contribute income ( a ), approving of pro-climate social norms ( c ) and demanding political action ( e ). Population-adjusted weights are used to ensure representativeness at the global level. b , d , f , World maps in which each country is coloured according to its proportion of respondents willing to contribute 1% of income ( b ), approving of pro-climate social norms ( d ) and demanding political action ( f ). Sampling weights are used to account for the stratified sampling procedure. Supplementary Table 4 presents the data. GW, global warming.

Second, we document widespread approval of pro-climate social norms in almost all countries. Overall, 86% of respondents state that people in their country should try to fight global warming (Fig. 1c ). In 119 of 125 countries, the proportion of supporters exceeds two-thirds (Fig. 1d ).

Third, we identify an almost universal global demand for intensified political action. Across the globe, 89% of respondents state that their national government should do more to fight global warming (Fig. 1e ). In more than half the countries in our sample, the demand for more government action exceeds 90% (Fig. 1f ).

Stronger willingness to contribute in vulnerable countries

Although the approval of pro-climate social norms and the demand for intensified political action is substantial in almost all countries (Fig. 1d,f ), there is considerable variation in the proportion of individuals willing to contribute 1% across countries (Fig. 1b ) and world regions (Supplementary Tables 4 and 5) . What explains the cross-country variation in individual WTC? Two patterns stand out.

First, there is a negative relationship between country-level WTC and (log) GDP per capita ( ρ  = −0.47; 95% confidence interval (CI), [−0.60, −0.32]; P  < 0.001 for a two-sided t -test; N  = 125; Fig. 2a ). To illustrate, in the wealthiest quintile of countries, the average proportion of people willing to contribute 1% is 62%, whereas it is 78% in the least wealthy quintile of countries. A country’s GDP per capita reflects its resilience, that is, its economic capacity to cope with climate change. Put differently, in countries that are most resilient, individuals are least willing to contribute 1% of their income to climate action. At the same time, a country’s GDP is strongly related to its current dependence on GHG emissions 37 . For the countries studied here, the correlation coefficient between log GDP and log GHG emissions is 0.87. From a behavioural science perspective, this pattern is consistent with the interpretation that individuals are less willing to contribute if they perceive the adaptation costs as too high, that is, when the required lifestyle changes are perceived as too drastic.

figure 2

a – c , Binned scatter plots of the country-level proportion of individuals willing to contribute 1% of their income and log average GDP (per capita, purchasing power parity (PPP) adjusted) for 2010–2019 ( a ), annual average temperature (°C) for 2010–2019 ( b ) and the vulnerability index used in the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) ( c ) 41 , 42 . The vulnerability index ranges from 0 to 100, with higher values indicating higher vulnerability. Correlation coefficients are calculated from the unbinned country-level data. We use sampling weights to derive the country-level WTC. Number of bins, 20; 6–7 countries per bin; derived from x axis. The red line represents linear regression.

Second, we find a positive relationship between country-level WTC and country-level annual average temperature ( ρ  = 0.35; 95% CI, [0.18, 0.49]; P  < 0.001 for a two-sided t -test, N  = 125; Fig. 2b ). The average proportion of people who are willing to contribute increases from 64% among the coldest quintile of countries to 77% among the warmest quintile of countries. Average annual temperature captures how exposed a country is to global warming risks 38 , 39 . Countries with higher annual temperatures have already experienced greater damage due to global warming, potentially making future threats from climate change more salient to their residents 40 .

Both results replicate in a joint multivariate regression and are robust to the inclusion of continent fixed effects and other economic, political, cultural or geographic factors (Supplementary Tables 6 – 9 ). Focusing on North America, we also find a significantly positive association between WTC and average temperature on the subnational level (Supplementary Fig. 2 ). Moreover, as low GDP and high temperatures constitute two important aspects of vulnerability to climate change, we also draw on a more comprehensive summary measure of vulnerability, derived for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Sixth Assessment Report 41 , 42 . In addition to national income and poverty levels, the index also takes into account non-economic factors, such as the quality of public infrastructure, health services and governance. It captures a country’s general lack of resilience and adaptive capacity, and it is highly correlated with log GDP ( ρ  = −0.93) and temperature ( ρ  = 0.62). Figure 2c confirms that people living in more vulnerable countries report a stronger WTC.

The country-level variation in pro-climate norms and demand for intensified political action is much smaller than that for the WTC. Nevertheless, we find that higher temperature predicts stronger norms and support for more political action. We do not detect a significant relationship with GDP (Supplementary Table 10 ).

Beliefs and systematic misperceptions

In line with previous research 11 , 22 , 23 , 24 , 25 , 26 , our data support the importance of conditional cooperation at the global level. Figure 3a shows a strong and positive correlation between the country-level proportions of individuals willing to contribute 1% and the corresponding average perceived proportions of fellow citizens willing to contribute 1% ( ρ  = 0.73; 95% CI, [0.64, 0.81]; P  < 0.001 for a two-sided t -test; N  = 125).

figure 3

a , Binned scatter plots of the country-level proportions of individuals willing to contribute 1% of their income and the average perceived proportions of others who are willing to contribute 1% of their income. We use sampling weights to derive the country-level WTC and perceived WTC. Number of bins, 20; 6–7 countries per bin; derived from x axis. The red line shows the linear regression. b , Gap between the global and country proportions of respondents who are willing to contribute 1% of their income (circles) and the global and country average perceived proportions of others willing to contribute (triangles). The reported significance levels result from two-sided t -tests testing whether the proportion of individuals who are willing to contribute is equal to the average perceived proportion. We use population-adjusted weights to derive the global averages and the standard sampling weights otherwise. We derive the averages based on all available data, that is, we exclude missing responses separately for each question. See Supplementary Figure 4 for additional descriptive statistics for the perceived WTC (median, 25–75% quartile range).

We document the same pattern at the individual level. In a univariate linear regression analysis, a 1-percentage-point increase in the perceived proportion of others’ WTC is associated with a 0.46-percentage-point increase in one’s own probability of contributing (95% CI, [0.41, 0.50]; P  < 0.001; N  = 111,134; Supplementary Table 11 ). This effect size aligns closely with the degree of conditional cooperation that has been documented in the laboratory 26 .

The critical role of beliefs raises the question of whether beliefs are well calibrated. In fact, Fig. 3b reveals sizeable and systematic global misperceptions. At the global level, there is a 26-percentage-point gap (95% CI, [25.6, 26.0]; P  < 0.001 for a two-sided t -test; N  = 125; Supplementary Table 4 ) between the actual proportion of respondents who report being willing to contribute 1% of their income towards climate action (69%) and the average perceived proportion (43%). Put differently, individuals around the globe strongly underestimate their fellow citizens’ actual WTC to the common good. At the country level, the vast majority of respondents underestimate the actual proportion in their country (81%), and a large proportion of respondents underestimate the proportion by more than 10 percentage points (73%). This pattern holds for each country in our sample (Fig. 3b ). In all 125 countries, the average perceived proportion is lower than the actual proportion, significantly so in all but one country (two-sided t -tests, actual versus perceived WTC). If we limit the analysis to those respondents for whom we have non-missing data for both the actual and the perceived WTC, the global perception gap is estimated to be 29 percentage points (95% CI, [27.2, 30.0]; P  < 0.001 for a two-sided t -test; N  = 125; Supplementary Table 12 ), and the average perceived proportion is estimated to be significantly lower than the actual proportion in all 125 countries (Supplementary Fig. 3 ).

Although the perception gap is positive in all countries, we note that the size of the perception gap varies across countries (s.d. = 8.7 percentage points). Examining the same country-level characteristics as before, we find that the gap is significantly larger in countries with higher annual temperatures and significantly smaller in countries with high GDP (Supplementary Table 13 ). These results are largely robust to the inclusion of other economic, political or cultural factors, which we do not find to be significantly related to the perception gap. These findings are robust to only using respondents for whom we have non-missing data for both the actual and perceived WTC.

Climate scientists have stressed that immediate, concerted and determined action against climate change is necessary 32 , 41 , 43 , 44 . Against this backdrop, our study sheds light on people’s willingness to contribute to climate action around the world. What sets our study apart from existing cross-cultural studies on climate change perceptions 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 and policy views 4 , 5 , 6 is its globally representative coverage and its behavioural science perspective.

The results are encouraging. About two-thirds of the global population report being willing to incur a personal cost to fight climate change, and the overwhelming majority demands political action and supports pro-climate norms. This indicates that the world is united in its normative judgement about climate change and the need to act.

The four aspects of cooperation discussed in this article are likely to interact with one another. For example, consensus on pro-climate norms is likely to strengthen individuals’ WTC and vice versa 13 . Similarly, the enactment of climate policies is likely to strengthen climate norms and vice versa 45 . We find a strong positive correlation between the WTC, pro-climate norms, policy support and beliefs about others’ WTC across countries (Supplementary Table 14 ). Moreover, countries with a stronger approval of pro-climate social norms have passed significantly more climate-change-related laws and policies ( ρ  = 0.20; 95% CI, [0.02, 0.36]; P  = 0.028 for a two-sided t -test; N  = 122). These positive interactions suggest that a change in one factor can unlock potent, self-reinforcing feedback cycles, triggering social-tipping dynamics 46 , 47 . Our findings can inform system dynamics models and social climate models that explicitly take into account the interaction of human behaviour with natural, physical systems 48 , 49 .

The widespread willingness to act against climate change stands in contrast to the prevailing global pessimism regarding others’ willingness to act. The world is in a state of pluralistic ignorance, which occurs when people systematically misperceive the beliefs or attitudes held by others 27 , 28 , 29 , 30 , 31 , 50 . The reasons underlying this perception gap are probably multifaceted, encompassing factors such as media and public debates disproportionately emphasizing climate-sceptical minority opinions 51 , and the influence of interest groups’ campaigning efforts 52 , 53 . Moreover, during periods of transition, individuals may erroneously attribute the inadequate progress in addressing climate change to a persistent lack of individual support for climate-friendly actions 54 .

Importantly, these systematic perception gaps can form an obstacle to climate action. The prevailing pessimism regarding others’ support for climate action can deter individuals from engaging in climate action, thereby confirming the negative beliefs held by others. Therefore, our results suggest a potentially powerful intervention, that is, a concerted political and communicative effort to correct these misperceptions. In light of a global perception gap of 26 percentage points (Fig. 3b ) and the observation that a 1-percentage-point increase in the perceived proportion of others willing to contribute 1% is associated with a 0.46-percentage-point increase in one’s own probability to contribute (Supplementary Table 11 ), such an intervention may yield quantitatively large, positive effects. Rather than echoing the concerns of a vocal minority that opposes any form of climate action, we need to effectively communicate that the vast majority of people around the world are willing to act against climate change and expect their national government to act.

Sampling approach

The survey was carried out as part of the Gallup World Poll 2021/2022 in 125 countries, with a median total response duration of 30 min. The four questions were included towards the end of the Gallup World Poll survey and were timed to take about 1.5 min.

Each country sample is designed to be representative of the resident population aged 15 and above. The geographic coverage area from which the samples are drawn generally includes the entire country. Exceptions relate to areas where the safety of the surveyors could not be guaranteed or—in some countries—islands with a very small population.

Interviews are conducted in one of two modes: computer-assisted telephone interviews via landline or mobile phone or face to face (mostly computer assisted). Telephone interviews were used in countries with high telephone coverage, countries in which it is the customary survey methodology and countries in which the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic ruled out a face-to-face approach. There is one exception: paper-and-pencil interviews had to be used in Afghanistan for 73% of respondents to minimize security concerns.

The selection of respondents is probability based. The concrete procedure depends on the survey mode. More details are available in the documentation of the Gallup World Poll ( ) 55 .

Telephone interviews involved random-digit dialling or sampling from nationally representative lists of phone numbers. If contacted via landline, one household member aged 15 or older is randomly selected. In countries with a landline or mobile telephone coverage of less than 80%, this procedure is also adopted for mobile telephone calls to improve coverage.

For face-to-face interviews, primary sampling units are identified (cluster of households, stratified by population size or geography). Within those units, a random-route strategy is used to select households. Within the chosen households, respondents are randomly selected.

Each potential respondent is contacted at least three (for face-to-face interviews) or five (telephone) times. If the initially sampled respondent can not be interviewed, a substitution method is used. The median country-level response rate corresponds to 65% for face-to-face interviews and 9% for telephone interviews. These response rates are comparatively high considering that survey participants are not offered financial incentives for participating in the Gallup World Poll. For telephone interviews, the Pew Research Center reports a response rate of 6% in the United States in 2019 ( ). For face-to-face interviews, ref. 56 found a non-response rate of 23.7% even in a country with very high levels of trust, such as Denmark.

The median and most common sample size is 1,000 respondents. An overview of survey modes and sample sizes can be found in Supplementary Table 15 .

Sampling weights

Although the sampling approach is probability based, some groups of respondents are more likely to be sampled by the sampling procedure. For instance, residents in larger households are less likely to be selected than residents in smaller households because both small and large households have an equal chance of being chosen. For this reason, Gallup constructs a probability weight factor (base weight) to correct for unequal selection probabilities. In a second step, the base weights are post-stratified to adjust for non-response and to match known population statistics. The standard demographic variables used for post-stratification are age, gender, education and region. In some countries, additional demographic information is used based on availability (for example, ethnicity or race in the United States). The weights range from 0.12 to 6.23, with a 10–90% quantile range of 0.28 to 2.10, ensuring that no observation is given an excessively disproportionate weight. Of all weights, 93% are between 0.25 and 4. More details are available in the documentation of the Gallup World Poll ( ) 55 .

We use these weights in our main analyses in two ways: first, when deriving national averages, we weight individual responses with Gallup’s sampling weights; and, second, when conducting individual-level regression analyses, we weight respondents with Gallup’s sampling weights.

We note that this weighting approach does not take into account the fact that some countries have a larger population than others. At the global level, the approach would effectively weight countries by their sample size and not their population size. Therefore, we also derive population-adjusted weights that render the data representative of the global population (aged ≥15) that is covered by our survey. The population-adjusted weight of individual i in country c is derived as

where w i c denotes the original Gallup sampling weight, I c the set of all respondents in country c , s c the country’s share of the global population aged ≥15 and n the total sample size of 129,902 respondents. Division by \({\sum }_{{I}_{c}}{w}_{ic}\) ensures that countries with a larger sample size (Supplementary Table 15 ) do not receive a larger weight. Multiplication with s c ensures that the total weight of a country sample is proportional to its population share. Multiplication with the constant n ensures that the total sum of the population-adjusted weights equals n , but is inconsequential for the results.

Although the two approaches yield very similar results (Supplementary Table 16 ), we use these population-adjusted weights wherever we present global statistics or statistics for supranational world regions. Supplementary Table 16 also shows that we obtain almost identical results if we do not use weights at all.

Global pre-test

A preliminary version of the survey was extensively pre-tested in 2020 in six countries of diverse cultural heritage—Colombia, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Kenya and Ukraine—to ensure that subjects from different cultural and economic backgrounds interpret the questions adequately. In each country, cognitive interviews were conducted by trained interviewers in local languages. The objectives of the pre-test were threefold, that is, to collect feedback, test whether the survey questions were understandable and check whether they were interpreted homogeneously across cultures. Each survey question was followed by additional probing questions that investigated respondents’ understanding of central terms and the overall logic of the question. Moreover, respondents were invited to express any comprehension difficulties. In response to the feedback, several minor adjustments to the survey were made. Most importantly, we switched to the term global warming instead of climate change to prevent confusion with seasonal changes in weather.

Survey items

The US English version of the questionnaire can be found below. Square brackets indicate information that is adjusted to each country. Parentheses indicate that a response option was available to the interviewer but not read aloud to the interviewee. The frequencies of missing data are summarized in Supplementary Table 17 .

Introduction to global warming

Now, on a different topic… The following questions are about global warming. Global warming means that the world’s average temperature has considerably increased over the past 150 years and may increase more in the future.

Willingness to contribute

Question 1 : Would you be willing to contribute 1% of your household income every month to fight global warming? This would mean that you would contribute [$1] for every [$100] of this income.

Responses : Yes, No, (DK), (Refused)

Coding : Binary dummy for Yes. (DK) and (Refused) are coded as missing data.

Question 2 (asked only if ‘No’ was selected in Question 1) : Would you be willing to contribute a smaller amount than 1% of your household income every month to fight global warming?

Responses : Yes, No, I would not contribute any income, (DK), (Refused)

Coding : We classify respondents into three categories based on their responses to both questions. Willing to contribute (at least) 1%, willing to contribute between 0% and 1%, not willing to contribute. We conservatively code (DK) and (Refused) in Question 2 as ‘Not willing to contribute’.

Beliefs about others’ willingness to contribute

Question : We are asking these questions to 100 other respondents in [the United States]. How many do you think are willing to contribute at least 1% of their household income every month to fight global warming?

Responses : 0–100, (DK), (Refused)

Coding : 0–100, (DK) and (Refused) are coded as missing data.

Social norms

Question : Do you think that people in [the United States] should try to fight global warming?

Demand for political action

Question : Do you think the national government should do more to fight global warming?

Note : We were not allowed to field this question in Myanmar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Implementation errors

In two countries, an implementation error was made for the question on WTC a proportion of income.

In Kyrgyzstan, 4 of 1,001 respondents answered the survey in the language Uzbek. To these four respondents, the second sentence of question 1 was not read. The other respondents in Kyrgyzstan were interviewed in a different language and were not affected.

In Mongolia, respondents were asked whether they are willing to contribute less than 1% in question 1. Of these respondents, 93.1% answered yes. We approximate the proportion of Mongolian respondents who are willing to contribute 1% as follows. The implementation error should not affect the proportion of respondents who answer no to both questions (4.4%). Moreover, we know that in most countries 5–6% of respondents are not willing to contribute 1% but are willing to contribute a positive amount smaller than 1%. This is also true in neighbouring countries of Mongolia (China, 6.0%; Kazakhstan, 4.9%; Russia, 5.6%). Therefore, we derive the proportion of Mongolian respondents who are willing to contribute 1% as 100% − 4.4% − 6% = 89.6%, which is close to the uncorrected proportion of 93.1%. Results are virtually unchanged if we exclude observations from Mongolia.


The translation process of the US English original version into other languages followed the TRAPD model, first developed for the European Social Survey 57 . The acronym TRAPD stands for translation, review, adjudication, pre-testing and documentation. It is a team-based approach to translation and has been found to provide more reliable results than alternative procedures, such as back-translation. The following procedure is implemented:

Translation: a local professional translator conducts the first translation.

Review: the translation is reviewed by another professional translator from an independent company. The reviewer identifies any issues, suggests alternative wordings and explains their comments in English.

Adjudication: the original translator receives this feedback and can accept or reject the suggestions. In the latter case, he provides an English explanation for his decision and a third expert adjudicates the disputed translation, which often involves further exchange with the translators.

Pre-testing: a pilot test with at least ten respondents per language is conducted.

Documentation: translations and commentary (Gallup internal) are documented.

The study was approved by the ethics committee of the Gallup World Poll. Informed consent was obtained from all human research participants.

Our main measures of support for climate action are deliberately measured in a general manner to account for the fact that suitable concrete strategies to act against climate change can differ widely across the globe. However, in previous work, we collected both the general measures and additional specific measures for the different facets of climate cooperation. We conducted a survey with a diverse sample of respondents that is representative of the US population in terms of the sociodemographic characteristics of age, gender, education and region 30 . Specifically, we first elicit respondents’ WTC, demand for political action and approval of pro-climate change norms. In a second step, respondents can allocate money between themselves and a pro-climate charity (incentivized). We also elicit whether respondents have engaged in a set of specific climate-friendly behaviours in the previous 12 months (answered yes or no). We further elicit whether they think that people in the United States should engage in these specific climate-friendly behaviours (yes or no). Finally, we measure support for specific climate-change-related policies and regulations using a four-point Likert scale. Supplementary Tables 1 – 3 show that our general measures are strongly correlated with concrete climate-friendly behaviours, concrete climate-friendly norms and support for specific climate-change-related policies and regulation. More details on these data can be found in ref. 30 .

The data in ref. 30 also allow us to investigate whether we obtain similar results using two different survey methodologies. The Gallup World Poll relies on computer-assisted telephone interviews (landline and mobile) and random sampling via random-digit dialling. In ref. 30 , an online survey was conducted and quota-based sampling was used. Reassuringly, we obtain very similar results for the proportion of the population willing to contribute 1% of their household income, supporting pro-climate norms and demanding more political action (Table 1 ).

Additional data sources

Annual temperature.

This is the annual average temperature (in degrees Celsius) from 2010 to 2019. The data are available from the World Bank Group’s Climate Change Knowledge Portal ( ) and derived from the CRU TS v.4.05 data ( ).

A set of indicators for whether a country belongs to one of the following five continents: (1) Africa, (2) Americas, (3) Asia, (4) Europe and (5) Oceania.

Economic growth

The average GDP growth rate between 2000 and 2019, obtained by averaging the year-on-year change in real GDP per capita (in constant US dollars) across years (World Bank WDI database, ).

The average national GDP per capita from 2010 to 2019 in constant US dollars, adjusted for differences in purchasing power. To derive the percentage of world GDP that our survey represents, we take national GDP data from 2019. The data for each country are available from the World Bank WDI database ( ). For Taiwan and Venezuela, the World Bank does not provide GDP estimates. Instead, we use data from the International Monetary Fund World Economic Outlook Database ( ).

GHG emissions

The per-capita GHG emissions expressed in equivalent metric tons of CO 2 averaged from 2010 to 2019. To derive the percentage of world GHG emissions that our survey represents, we take national GHG data from 2019. GHGs include CO 2 (fossil only), CH 4 , N 2 O and F gases. Data are obtained from EDGAR v.7.0 (ref. 58 ).


This refers to a country’s location on the individualism–collectivism spectrum, which we standardize 59 .

Kinship tightness

This refers to the extent to which people are embedded in large, interconnected extended family networks. The measure is derived from the data of the Ethnographic Atlas in ref. 60 and is available at .

Regional temperature

The population-weighted regional mean temperature in degrees Celsius (between 2010 and 2019). Regions are defined by Gallup and often coincide with the first administrative unit below the national level. We use temperature data from the Climatic Research Unit ( ) and population data from the LandScan database ( ) to construct this variable.

Scientific articles

The average number of scientific articles (per capita) from 2009 to 2018. The annual data for each country are available from the World Bank WDI database and normalized with annual population data from the Maddison Project Database 2020 ( ).

Secondary and tertiary education

This refers to the proportion of the population with secondary or tertiary education as the highest level of education. The Gallup World Poll includes respondent-level information on whether the highest level of educational attainment is secondary and tertiary education, which we aggregate to national proportion by using Gallup’s sampling weights.

Survival versus self-expression values

The extent to which people in a country hold survival versus self-expression values, which we standardize. We obtain the data from the axes of the Inglehart–Welzel Cultural Map ( ) 61 .

Traditional versus secular values

The extent to which people in a country hold traditional versus secular values, which we standardize. We obtain the data from the axes of the Inglehart–Welzel Cultural Map ( ) 61 .

Vulnerability index

This measure captures a country’s vulnerability as defined in the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report 41 , 42 . Specifically, the measure is the average of the vulnerability subcomponent of the INFORM Risk Index and the WorldRiskIndex. The INFORM Risk Index consists of 32 indicators related to vulnerability and coping capacity. The vulnerability component of the WorldRiskIndex encompasses 23 indicators, which cover susceptibility, absence of coping ability and lack of adaptive capability. For example, the subcomponents include indicators of extreme poverty, food security, access to basic infrastructure, access to health care, health status and governance. The data and documentation are available at .

Quality of governance standard data set 2021

The following variables are compiled from the Quality of Governance Standard Data Set 2021 ( ) 62 .

Concentration of political power

This variable is based on the Political Constraints Index III from the Political Constraint Index (POLCON) Dataset ( ), which we standardize.

A binary measure of democracy, obtained from ref. 63 .

Electricity from fossil fuels

The proportion of electricity produced from oil or coal (World Bank WDI database).

Perceived corruption

We use the Corruption Perception Index (0–100) from Transparency International ( ), which we standardize.

The size of the population aged 15 or higher in 2019. The data are taken from the World Bank WDI database.

Property rights

The standardized score of the degree to which a country’s laws protect private property rights and the degree to which those laws are enforced (Heritage Foundation’s Index of Economic Freedom dataset; ).

Quality of Governance Environmental Indicators Dataset 2021

The following variables are compiled from the Quality of Governance Environmental Indicators Dataset 2021 ( ) 64 .

Annual precipitation

The long-run average of annual precipitation (in mm per year) (World Bank WDI database).

Climate change executive policies

The cumulative number of climate-change-related policies or other executive provisions (from 1946 until 2020), which were published or decreed by the government, president or an equivalent executive authority ( ) 65 .

Climate change laws and legislations

The cumulative number of climate-change-related laws and legislations (from 1946 until 2020) that were passed by the parliament or an equivalent legislative authority 65 .

Distance to coast

The average distance to the nearest ice-free coast (in 1,000 km) 66 .

Terrain ruggedness index

An index of the terrain ruggedness (as of 2012) originally developed to measure topographic variation 67 and modified by ref. 66 .

Reporting summary

Further information on research design is available in the Nature Portfolio Reporting Summary linked to this article.

Data availability

The data of the Global Climate Change Survey are available at . References to and the documentation of external and proprietary data, such as the Gallup World Poll data, are available in the Supplementary Information .

Code availability

The analysis code is available at .

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We thank S. Gächter, I. Haaland, L. Henkel, A. Oswald, C. Roth, E. Weber and J. Wohlfart for valuable comments. We thank M. Antony for his support in collecting and managing the Global Climate Change Survey data, and J. König, L. Michels, T. Reinheimer and U. Zamindii for excellent research assistance. Funding by the Institute on Behavior and Inequality (briq) (A.F.) and the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG; through Excellence Strategy EXC 2126/1 390838866 (P.A., T.B. and A.F.) and through CRC TR 224) is gratefully acknowledged (P.A. and A.F.). The activities of the Center for Economic Behavior and Inequality (CEBI) are financed by the Danish National Research Foundation, grant DNRF134 (F.C.). We gratefully acknowledge research support from the Leibniz Institute for Financial Research SAFE (P.A.).

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All authors (P.A., T.B., F.C. and A.F.) contributed equally to all activities, including the design of the survey, data analysis and writing of the article.

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Andre, P., Boneva, T., Chopra, F. et al. Globally representative evidence on the actual and perceived support for climate action. Nat. Clim. Chang. (2024).

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How Companies Should Weigh In on a Controversy

  • David M. Bersoff,
  • Sandra J. Sucher,
  • Peter Tufano

research paper survey example

Executives need guidance about managing their organizations’ engagement with societal issues—including hot-button topics such as gender, climate, and racial discrimination. Success in this realm does not mean avoiding public controversy or achieving unanimous support among key stakeholders, the authors write. Rather, it results from adhering to certain processes and strategies, which they have derived from recent global survey research along with examples from managerial best practice.

They offer an approach that is anchored in data but sensitive to values and context. It can be helpful in figuring out which issues to address and how; in ameliorating disappointment among stakeholders; and in managing any potential blowback.

Data can tell you what your various stakeholders care about, they write, but judgment is necessary to act in careful consideration of conflicting preferences while being consistent with your company’s values.

A better approach to stakeholder management

Idea in Brief

The challenge.

Given today’s widespread social and political polarization, executives need better guidance as they navigate hot-button topics such as gender, climate, and racial discrimination.

The Insight

Success at handling these subjects does not mean avoiding public controversy or achieving unanimous support among key stakeholders.

Executives can take stands on issues and skillfully address both internal and external pushback if they acquire a more sophisticated understanding of their stakeholders’ concerns.

On April 1, 2023, just as the March Madness college basketball tournament was getting underway, the transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney uploaded a sponsored post to Instagram to promote Bud Light. The backlash was immediate and cut deep. The beer brand was condemned by social conservatives across the United States, who launched a boycott.

  • DB David M. Bersoff is the head of research at the Edelman Trust Institute, a think tank dedicated to advancing the study of trust in society.
  • Sandra J. Sucher is a professor of management practice at Harvard Business School. She is the coauthor of The Power of Trust: How Companies Build It, Lose It, and Regain It (PublicAffairs 2021).
  • PT Peter Tufano is a Baker Foundation Professor at Harvard Business School , senior advisor to Harvard’s Salata Institue for Climate and Sustainability, and a former dean of Said Business School at the University of Oxford.

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  • 10 Research Question Examples to Guide Your Research Project

10 Research Question Examples to Guide your Research Project

Published on October 30, 2022 by Shona McCombes . Revised on October 19, 2023.

The research question is one of the most important parts of your research paper , thesis or dissertation . It’s important to spend some time assessing and refining your question before you get started.

The exact form of your question will depend on a few things, such as the length of your project, the type of research you’re conducting, the topic , and the research problem . However, all research questions should be focused, specific, and relevant to a timely social or scholarly issue.

Once you’ve read our guide on how to write a research question , you can use these examples to craft your own.

Note that the design of your research question can depend on what method you are pursuing. Here are a few options for qualitative, quantitative, and statistical research questions.

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If you want to know more about the research process , methodology , research bias , or statistics , make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples.


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Woman eating takeaway food while working on her laptop

Working from home can bring big health benefits, study finds

A review of 1,930 papers into home working found major pluses, but also downsides such as antisocial hours and being overlooked for promotion

Working from home allows people to eat more healthily, feel less stressed and have lower blood pressure, according to a large-scale review of academic literature on post-pandemic workplaces.

Yet remote workers are also more likely to eat snacks, drink more, smoke more and put on weight, the study found. And employers who believe that people working from home are lazy should think again – they are less likely to take time off sick, tend to work longer hours and to work evenings and weekends.

The review , funded by the National Institute for Health and Care Research Health Protection Research Unit in Emergency Preparedness and Response – a partnership between the UK Health Security Agency, King’s College London, and the University of East Anglia – considered 1,930 academic papers on home working, teleworking and other types of hybrid and home working in an effort to distil the often contradictory research.

Prof Neil Greenberg, a psychiatrist at King’s College London and one of the study’s authors, said the study showed that workers and employers needed to start considering home working with the same seriousness as they did office working.

“In the old days of office working, people realised that if you put everyone in the same room with no sound-proofing, it was all unpleasant and you didn’t have a very productive workforce,” he said.

“Now that we’ve shifted to a home working culture, it makes sense for organisations and the government to make sure that people who are home working are doing it in as effective a way as possible.”

The review, published in the Journal of Occupational Health , identified three themes – the working environment at home, the effect on workers’ lives and careers, and the effect on their health. Greenberg said the research showed that there were winners and losers in many areas of home working. The working environment depended on how much space there was at home, the available equipment and on how much control workers had over their day.

People on higher incomes often enjoyed home working more, but those with more responsibilities at home such as childcare or housework – often women and those living alone – tended to be more stressed.

“Overall, people felt more productive at home,” Greenberg said. “It was particularly good for creative things, but much more difficult dealing with tedious matters. A lot of people worried about career prospects – this feeling that if you’re not present in the office, you’re going to get overlooked.”

Effects on health were clearer. The transition to home working during Covid was linked “with an increase in intake of vegetables, fruit, dairy, snacks, and self-made meals; younger workers and females benefited the most in terms of healthier eating,” the paper said.

One of the studies reviewed found that 46.9% of employees working from home had gained weight, and another put the figure at 41%. Most of the papers reviewed showed that homeworkers were more sedentary.

Greenberg said: “Managers needed to think about finding ways to support their homeworkers and help create their working environment.

“There’s a great adage in science that at some point, we need to stop admiring the problem and actually think about solutions,” he said. “We know quite a lot now. So we need to ask ‘what is the best training for an individual who’s going to become a partial homeworker?’ What we don’t need to do is to ask ‘would it be helpful to train someone to homework?’ The answer is clearly yes.”

Since the end of Covid restrictions in 2022, some companies have insisted that employees return to the office full-time, with firms such as JP Morgan requiring managers to be in five days a week.

“If companies like JP Morgan are afraid that people at home will be slacking, or won’t be doing a good job, and they can’t keep an eye on them, then I think that is an outdated concept,” Greenberg said.

Refusing WFH options will mean that talented employees may find other jobs, and makes companies less flexible in the event of future crises, such as another health emergency or strikes or severe weather conditions that prevent people from reaching their offices, he added.

“If they are doing it merely out of fear, then they risk being left behind,” he said. “We looked at a huge amount of evidence of the years and what our review shows is that there are ways to make the home working approach actually work well for the organisation and also for the employee.”

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Title: mm-llms: recent advances in multimodal large language models.

Abstract: In the past year, MultiModal Large Language Models (MM-LLMs) have undergone substantial advancements, augmenting off-the-shelf LLMs to support MM inputs or outputs via cost-effective training strategies. The resulting models not only preserve the inherent reasoning and decision-making capabilities of LLMs but also empower a diverse range of MM tasks. In this paper, we provide a comprehensive survey aimed at facilitating further research of MM-LLMs. Initially, we outline general design formulations for model architecture and training pipeline. Subsequently, we introduce a taxonomy encompassing $122$ MM-LLMs, each characterized by its specific formulations. Furthermore, we review the performance of selected MM-LLMs on mainstream benchmarks and summarize key training recipes to enhance the potency of MM-LLMs. Finally, we explore promising directions for MM-LLMs while concurrently maintaining a real-time tracking website for the latest developments in the field. We hope that this survey contributes to the ongoing advancement of the MM-LLMs domain.

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