Merits of Survey Methods:Survey methods has followings merits in comparison to other methods: 1. A survey permits the researcher to come in direct contact with the people whom he wants to study. He is in a position to see things for himself and come face to face with the realities of life. His inferences are therefore not based upon any theory of dogma but upon the facts of life.
2. This methods permits greater objectivity. The data are not influenced by any one main view or beliefs. The use of large number of filed workers removes the possibility of personal bias in many cases actual survey has led to entirely different results than arrived at through purely theoretical wanderings. This is why surveys have been used for testing the validity of many theories.
3. General surveys bring to light a number of problems and propositions that would have not been possible by pure theoretical analysis. A theoretical analysis give rise to a hypothesis only as an off shoot of some existing theory and never beyond. It analysis of survey results can point our to the hypothesis that may be completely outside the scope of existing theory. They may very well lead to the introduction of new theory. For example poverty was regarded as the cause of crime for fairly long time but increasing crime in the economically advanced countries have falsified this theory.
4. A survey allows full emotional impact of social situations especially when it is based upon participant observation john. Howard fore example could have never realized the plight of convict in jails had he not lived with them. No amount of imagination can take the place of actual experience.
5. Survey method is one of the most widely methods. In case of social sciences where experimental methods is not easily possible survey methods is the most scientific method for providing reliable data. Some of its techniques are equally used in sociology anthropology psychology and natural sciences. The universality of application makes comparative study possible.