Specific information from large number of respondents. Surveys

Specific
features and differences between survey and focus group approaches in social
research.

Summing up the results
of the conducted research with the help of focus groups and surveys, we may outline
some of the advantages and limitations of both methods.

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The main advantage of
surveys is their wide coverage and the ability to collect the necessary
information from large number of respondents. Surveys do not require large
financial costs.  However, in the above
study there were difficulties in understanding and correct interpretation of some
questions in the questionnaire. As the majority of respondents did not
understand the issues related to the content of households, they could simply
choose one of the options provided in “closed” questions. And this, in
turn, influenced the reliability of information in the process of data
analysis. Another shortcoming in household surveys was the lack of data. Since
the questionnaire contained few “open” questions, to which
participants had to state their answers, they were omitted by respondents
because of insufficient literacy of population. This negatively affected the
validity of the data obtained.

Unlike the surveys
method, in the second study there were no problems with reliability and
validity of the data obtained. Questions of interest to the researcher were
presented to participants in the focus group discussions, where they were able
to give their own ideas and provide specific information on a given issue.  Moreover, the
opportunity to ask participants to explain their motivations can be pointed out
as an additional advantage of focus groups.

Nevertheless, in the
second research due to the insignificant sample size, generalisability was
weak. In contrast, research conducted by survey allowed to generalise the
findings.

Summing up, these
examples demonstrate the ability of focus groups and surveys to provide
asymmetric but independent observations that enhance the ability to draw
conclusions, as well as confidence in the very nature of the findings
themselves.