Distinguishing Between Questionnaires & Surveys

Questionnaire vs Survey

The primary distinction between a questionnaire and a survey is that a questionnaire is a subset of a survey. Questionnaires and surveys are two separate methods utilized for data collection. They are crucial for gathering and analyzing information from the public, whether it pertains to marketing, health care services, population data on social issues, or any other subject. Surveys are divided into two main categories, one of which is the questionnaire, and the other is the interview. This article aims to emphasize the differences between a questionnaire and a survey based on their features.

What is a Questionnaire?

When you think of the term “questionnaire,” you likely think of all the mail surveys you frequently encounter in your email inbox. Both surveys and questionnaires contain questions that respondents must answer with either yes or no or by selecting one of the several options provided in the form. However, a questionnaire specifically refers to the format in which several questions have been typed. The respondent must provide yes or no answers to these questions. It is essential to note that we distribute or use questionnaires, but we never conduct them. Questionnaires allow researchers to reach statistically significant conclusions. They focus on collecting quantitative data, unlike interviews, which collect and analyze in-depth data.

What is a Survey?

We are all familiar with the printed forms that we receive from the government requesting information on various issues. The census is another example of a survey in which we provide our input and personal information that assists the government in deciding on specific welfare policies.

Today, conducting surveys is not limited to distributing printed papers asking respondents to enter their preferences. Surveys can be conducted by telephone, mail, email, or even in person. They can take the form of lengthy, costly, and time-consuming interviews or short and quick questionnaires with multiple-choice questions. This demonstrates that there are several differences between a questionnaire and a survey.

Key Takeaways

  • A questionnaire specifically refers to the format in which several questions have been typed, requiring yes or no answers from respondents, while a survey can come in the form of a questionnaire or an interview.
  • Questionnaires are designed not to irritate the respondent, while surveys in the form of interviews can be open-ended and in-depth.
  • Questionnaires may not produce accurate or honest responses from respondents, but surveys in the form of interviews can potentially elicit true, honest responses.
Maria Nguyen
Maria Nguyen
Maria Nguyen is a talented writer with a flair for developing captivating content in a range of formats. Her commitment to thorough research and producing top-notch material has contributed to over 4 years of professional writing and editing experience. Outside of work, Maria finds pleasure in solitary activities and immersing herself in nature. Her introspective nature and passion for self-reflection inspire her creativity. She believes that spending time alone and observing the natural world can provide valuable insights and foster personal growth, broadening her perspective as a writer.


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