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It's hard to compare the advantages and disadvantages of the major different survey types. Even though each type has some general advantages and disadvantages, there are exceptions to almost every rule. Here's my general assessment. Perhaps you would differ in your ratings here or there, but I think you'll generally agree.

Issue

Questionnaire

Interview

Group

Mail

Drop-Off

Personal

Phone

Are Visual Presentations Possible? Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Are Long Response Categories Possible? Yes Yes Yes ??? No
Is Privacy A Feature? No Yes No Yes ???
Is the Method Flexible? No No No Yes Yes
Are Open-ended Questions Feasible? No No No Yes Yes
Is Reading & Writing Needed? ??? Yes Yes No No
Can You Judge Quality of Response? Yes No ??? Yes ???
Are High Response Rates Likely? Yes No Yes Yes No
Can You Explain Study in Person? Yes No Yes Yes ???
Is It Low Cost? Yes Yes No No No
Are Staff & Facilities Needs Low? Yes Yes No No No
Does It Give Access to Dispersed Samples? No Yes No No No
Does Respondent Have Time to Formulate Answers? No Yes Yes No No
Is There Personal Contact? Yes No Yes Yes No
Is A Long Survey Feasible? No No No Yes No
Is There Quick Turnaround? No Yes No No Yes

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