Surveys in social research

David de Vaus' classic text Surveys in Social Research provides clear advice on how to plan, conduct and analyse social surveys. It emphasises the links between theory and research, the logic and interpretation of statistics and the practices of social research. This sixth edition has been completely revised and updated, and contains new examples, data and extensive lists of web resources. As well as explaining how to conduct good surveys, de Vaus shows how to become a critical consumer of research. He argues that the logic of surveys and statistics is simply an extension of the logic we use in everyday life; analysis, however, requires creativity and imagination rather than the application of sterile mechanical procedures. The prime goal of research should be to gain accurate understanding and, as a researcher, use methods and techniques which enhance understanding. De Vaus advocates researchers use the method, rather than letting the method use you.

Book contents:

  1. The Nature of Surveys

  2. Theory and Social Research

  3. Formulating and Clarifying Research Questions

  4. Developing Indicators for Concepts

  5. Ethics and Data Collection

  6. Finding a Sample

  7. Constructing Questionnaires

  8. Administering Questionnaires

  9. Coding

  10. Preparing Variables for Analysis

  11. Building Scales

  12. Overview of Analysis

  13. Univariate Analysis

  14. Bivariate Analysis: Nominal and Ordinal Variables

  15. Bivariate Analysis for Interval-Level Variables

  16. Elaborate Bivariate Relationships

  17. Multivariate Analysis

  18. Putting It into Practice: A Research Example