Although definitions and colloquialisms vary, survey research generally refers to the systematic collection of self-report data from a sample of a larger population. When survey methodology is employed, a central goal is to obtain valid data that accurately represent a predetermined population. Tasks associated with survey research can include but are not limited to the following: chronicling demographics, assessing attitudes and beliefs, and documenting the frequencies of specific behaviors and intentions to engage in such behaviors. The main thing that inhibits this goal of obtaining valid data is error, which in this context refers to data that fail to capture the true physical or psychological characteristics of the population. Thus, one overarching goal of survey research is to reduce error so that the data collected ...
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