Demographic questions in a survey allow researchers to gain background information on their participants. These questions provide context for the collected survey data, allowing researchers to describe their participants and better analyze their data. Common demographic questions explore participant age, sex, race, ethnicity, education, and employment, but can include any background characteristics that a researcher believes are essential to the research project. When creating a survey, a researcher needs to make decisions about which demographic questions to ask and how to ask them in a way that recognizes the potentially sensitive nature of the information sought. Crucial to the research process, this entry discusses the purpose of demographic questions, highlights the [Page 1702]types of demographic information that can be collected, and provides guidelines ...
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