This book is a complete and critical introduction to doing surveys and an overview of the première empirical method in social science. Rather than a set of formulas, survey design is understood as a craft in which research questions are translated into questionnaire based on a model of how respondents answer questions, their ability and willingness to answer and the statistical characteristics of survey data. Especially, this approach is skeptical of the idea that, rather than a craft, survey research is a scientific field, like chemistry.
The first two chapters describe the standard model of survey research, developed in the 1930s and then refined incrementally, the challenge of cognitive models from the 1980s and the total survey error perspective. The following chapters then provide a complete overview of the current knowledge of questionnaire design, testing, sample design and data collection.
The Companion is written for researchers, especially analysts who want to understand their data better, and for graduate students and upper level undergraduates who want to do a survey or to better understand survey methods.