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Methods For Acquiring Information A sociologist’s goal is to identify recurring patterns of and influences on social behavior. Sociologists use nearly all the methods of acquiring information, from advanced mathematical statistics to the interpretation of texts to study social behavior. The sociologist use surveys, direct observation, experiments, and existing sources. They use these methods to solve problems about social behavior in human groups as well as individuals. In their research, they look for primary resources. These primary resources can be census and vital reports from the government. The first method is the survey. A survey is a study, generally in the form of an interview or questionnaire, which provide sociologists with information concerning how people think and act. It is often a collection and analysis of responses of large samples of people. The survey polls are designed to elicit people’s opinions, attitudes, and sentiments about a specific topic. A survey should be precise. The only way to make sure a survey is precise is to make the question specific. An effective question must be clear and understandable. This will eliminate problems and give sociologists the type of information desired. There are two main types of surveys. They are the interview and the questionnaire. These two methods pose a considerable challenge for investigators. There are many advantages of the interview method. One is that the interviewer can obtain a high response rate because people would not turn them down face to face as opposed to the questionnaire. Another advantage is that an interviewer can dig deep in to the person’s feelings and get a true answer. In a written questionnaire, the sociologist wouldn’t know if the person were lying about the subject. In an interview, the researcher can look at a person’s facial expressions and hand gestures. The only advantage that the questionnaire has is that it̵...

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