• Practical- quick and cheap
  • Reliability - high level of validity if repeated by another researcher
  • Hypothesis Testing - allow cause and effect relationships to be created
  • Detachment - unbiased as researcher is not present with them
  • Representativeness - they collect data from a large number of people so they're truly representative.
  • Ethical Issues - researchers must make sure all data is kept private and confidential so they will then probably be more honest.


  • Practical Problems - can become quite expensive if they're being posted and the response wait can be time consuming
  • Low Response Rate - very hard to find trends if data when response rate is low
  • Inflexibility - questions are close ended so researchers are stuck with the ones that have been decided so can't be as detailed
  • Snapshots - only give a picture of society from one moment in time
  • Lying or Forgetting - respondents may give less detailed answers as they may not understand it or may lie to please the researcher
  • Imposing the Researchers Meanings - as researcher has decided on the questions, they have already decided whats important


Overall, questionnaires are seen as a common and useful research method, however they do come with many disadvantages and so there can be better research methods available depending on the requirements. If the researcher is looking to use a fast and cheap method then surveys would be very suitable but they should be aware of the 'right answerism' and unreliable results that come with this method.


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