Tracing behaviors — What you need to think about before commencing a survey

The best way to learn about others is to ask questions. This allows for gainful insight on an individual level which you can use to represent the population. You can use the information you gathered to study behaviors and propose solutions to problems in society. It can also be used to push the issue into public awareness, assess the success of programs, and help improve the community. This is especially true when studying the effects of actions like smoking and trying tobacco replacement products. That is why surveys are among the best ways to trace behaviors. However, there are some factors to consider before you commence a survey.

Factors to Consider Before Commencing a Survey

The first thing to consider when carrying out a survey is the method to use. You can carry out a survey online, through phone calls, or in in-person interviews. Whichever way, you will need to prepare your questions. Hence, it would be best if you designed your questionnaire to fit your survey mode best. Also, when you choose your questions, ensure you use clear language that is not ambiguous. Ask questions that have direct answers, and make sure they follow a logical pattern. Finally, decide how you will analyze the data from the survey. Surely, your survey won’t make a smoker stop smoking but can help provide solutions.

Problems Associated with Behavioral Surveys

When carrying out a survey, there are some problems you will likely encounter. It is good to anticipate them and prepare ahead. One is inaccurate data due to a lack of memory. For instance, smokers may give an accurate number of cigarettes they smoke per day. But when asked about a week, the answer may no longer tally. Hence, you should ask questions related to daily activities rather than over a long time. Another problem is a lack of confidence. People that use nicotine may not give correct answer due to a lack of self-esteem. In such cases, an anonymous online survey may be the best option.