Distinguishing Between Polls & Surveys

Poll and survey are tools used to collect information and opinions from the public. While both serve a similar purpose, there are notable differences between the two methods.

Key Takeaways

  • Polls typically consist of a single question with multiple-choice answers, while surveys can have multiple questions of varying types.
  • Polls are quick and simple, often requiring just a click to participate, whereas surveys can be more in-depth and time-consuming.
  • Surveys may be paid, while polls usually do not offer compensation for participation.

A poll, or opinion poll, is a type of survey that presents a single question with multiple-choice answers for the respondent. Polls can be found all over the internet, integrated into news websites and blogs. Respondents are asked to share their opinions by selecting one of the given options, and the results are often displayed immediately after participation.

Polls are designed to be simple and quick, not requiring much time or personal information from the participant. Sometimes, opinion polls only require a yes or no answer, as in the case of a plebiscite. The results of a poll can be extrapolated to inform a decision or gauge public opinion.

Surveys, on the other hand, are invaluable tools for gathering information from people for various purposes, such as marketing new products, designing welfare policies, or conducting social research. Surveys can request factual information or opinions on various topics, including personal preferences and behavioral patterns.

Surveys can vary in length, with some consisting of only one or two questions and others containing dozens of questions. Survey questions can be closed-ended or open-ended, depending on the needs of the surveying company or organization.

In summary, a poll is a type of quick survey that usually consists of a single question with multiple-choice answers. With the widespread use of the internet, polls have become increasingly common and easy to participate in. Surveys, however, can be more in-depth and may require the respondent to provide more information. Some surveys offer compensation for participation, while polls generally do not.

Gil Tillard
Gil Tillard
Gil Tillard is an accomplished writer with expertise in creating engaging articles and content across various platforms. His dedication to research and crafting high-quality content has led to over 5 years of professional writing and editing experience. In his personal life, Gil enjoys connecting with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures. His curiosity and eagerness to learn from others fuel his passion for communication. He believes that engaging with strangers can be both enlightening and enjoyable, making it easier to strike up conversations and expand one's horizons.


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