20 SURVEYS AND QUESTIONNAIRES
What is a survey ? In the context of this chapter a survey is a research study in which individuals are asked about their opinion, beliefs, behaviors or personal characteristics. Surveys are not, of course, limited to persons and can have institutions as subjects or respondents. Surveys also tend to count things (or people), as such we can include inventories and measurements surveys. For example, a census of churches, temples, mosques, synagogues and other places of worship is a type of survey that does not count people, though of course individuals will report on their behalf. Instead, here we will be discussing what are known as opinion surveys in which individual persons are the subject of study and from which generalizations about the behavior, beliefs and characteristics of groups can be inferred.