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Survey vs. Experiment: What's the Difference?

Edited by Huma Saeed || By Sumera Saeed || Published on November 29, 2023
A survey gathers information via questions from a sample; an experiment tests hypotheses through controlled procedures.

Key Differences

A survey is a research method used for collecting data from a predefined group. An experiment is a research method involving controlled variables to test a hypothesis.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 29, 2023
Surveys often use questionnaires or interviews to gather opinions or behaviors. Experiments manipulate variables to observe effects and establish cause and effect.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 29, 2023
The data from a survey is typically descriptive and used for correlational analysis. In contrast, experimental data allows for testing hypotheses and establishing causality.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 29, 2023
Surveys are useful for understanding trends, preferences, or opinions in a population. Experiments are suited for exploring relationships between variables under controlled conditions.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 29, 2023
Surveys can be distributed widely and are relatively low cost. Experiments, especially in laboratories, often require detailed planning and can be costlier.
Janet White
Nov 29, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Purpose

Gathering information from a group
Testing hypotheses under controlled conditions
Sumera Saeed
Nov 29, 2023

Method

Questionnaires, interviews
Manipulating and observing variables
Sumera Saeed
Nov 29, 2023

Data Type

Descriptive, used for correlation
Causal, used for hypothesis testing
Sumera Saeed
Nov 29, 2023

Setting

Can be conducted anywhere
Often in controlled environments
Sara Rehman
Nov 29, 2023

Cost & Complexity

Generally low-cost and straightforward
Can be complex and costly
Sumera Saeed
Nov 29, 2023
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Survey and Experiment Definitions

Survey

Examination or inspection of an area or condition.
The engineer completed a survey of the building's structure.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 31, 2023

Experiment

An act or operation for discovering something unknown.
They did an experiment to find the best plant growth conditions.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 31, 2023

Survey

A comprehensive overview or review.
The book provides a survey of American history.
Janet White
Oct 31, 2023

Experiment

A procedure to test a hypothesis.
The scientists conducted an experiment to test the new theory.
Huma Saeed
Oct 31, 2023

Survey

A method of gathering information from individuals.
They conducted a survey to understand customer preferences.
Huma Saeed
Oct 31, 2023

Experiment

A practical test of the effects of something.
The experiment tested the effects of sleep on memory.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 31, 2023

Survey

Systematic collection of data from a sample population.
The health survey collected data from 1,000 participants.
Janet White
Oct 31, 2023

Experiment

An innovative procedure or attempt.
The chef's new recipe was an interesting culinary experiment.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 31, 2023

Survey

Measuring and recording the features of an area.
A land survey was conducted before the construction.
Janet White
Oct 31, 2023

Experiment

A trial or test to prove or disprove something.
The experiment aimed to disprove the old assumption.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 31, 2023

Survey

To look over the parts, features, or contents of; view broadly
Surveyed the neighborhood from a rooftop.
Surveyed the shelves in the pantry.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 31, 2023

Experiment

A test under controlled conditions that is made to demonstrate a known truth, examine the validity of a hypothesis, or determine the efficacy of something previously untried.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 31, 2023

Survey

To look at or examine carefully and appraise
Surveyed the storm damage. ].
Sumera Saeed
Oct 31, 2023

Experiment

The process of conducting such a test; experimentation.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 31, 2023

FAQs

What is the main goal of a survey?

To gather data or opinions from a group of people.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 29, 2023

Can an experiment establish causality?

Yes, experiments can establish cause-and-effect relationships.
Huma Saeed
Nov 29, 2023

Can surveys have open-ended questions?

Yes, surveys can include both open-ended and closed-ended questions.
Harlon Moss
Nov 29, 2023

Is replication important in experiments?

Yes, replicating experiments is crucial for verifying results.
Sara Rehman
Nov 29, 2023

What's a hypothesis in an experiment?

It's a proposed explanation or prediction that can be tested.
Harlon Moss
Nov 29, 2023

Are surveys usually qualitative or quantitative?

Surveys can be both but are often used for quantitative data.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 29, 2023

Are surveys prone to bias?

Yes, survey results can be influenced by various types of bias.
Janet White
Nov 29, 2023

Do experiments need a control group?

Often yes, a control group is needed for comparison.
Aimie Carlson
Nov 29, 2023

How do variables work in experiments?

Variables are factors that can be controlled, manipulated, or measured.
Harlon Moss
Nov 29, 2023

What's a controlled variable in an experiment?

It's a variable that is kept constant to observe effects on others.
Aimie Carlson
Nov 29, 2023

Can surveys be anonymous?

Yes, many surveys are conducted anonymously for privacy.
Janet White
Nov 29, 2023

What are common survey methods?

Online, telephone, and face-to-face are common survey methods.
Harlon Moss
Nov 29, 2023

Can experiments be conducted outside of a lab?

Yes, field experiments are conducted in natural settings.
Aimie Carlson
Nov 29, 2023

What's response bias in surveys?

It's when survey respondents give inaccurate answers.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 29, 2023

Can surveys predict future trends?

Surveys can provide insights but aren't always predictive.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 29, 2023

Can a survey reach a large population?

Yes, surveys can be distributed widely, even globally.
Sara Rehman
Nov 29, 2023

What's a sample in a survey?

It's a subset of the population from which data is collected.
Janet White
Nov 29, 2023

What's an experimental group?

It's the group in an experiment that receives the treatment or variable.
Harlon Moss
Nov 29, 2023

Is consent needed for experiments?

Yes, ethical experiments require informed consent from participants.
Sara Rehman
Nov 29, 2023

Are all experiments scientific?

Most follow scientific methods, but there are informal experiments too.
Aimie Carlson
Nov 29, 2023
About Author
Written by
Sumera Saeed
Sumera is an experienced content writer and editor with a niche in comparative analysis. At Diffeence Wiki, she crafts clear and unbiased comparisons to guide readers in making informed decisions. With a dedication to thorough research and quality, Sumera's work stands out in the digital realm. Off the clock, she enjoys reading and exploring diverse cultures.
Edited by
Huma Saeed
Huma is a renowned researcher acclaimed for her innovative work in Difference Wiki. Her dedication has led to key breakthroughs, establishing her prominence in academia. Her contributions continually inspire and guide her field.

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