- The researcher prepares a limited range of possible answers from which the respondent chooses. They provide a clear focus to questions and can be easily analysed and fed into a computer.
- They are carried out at one moment in time, so are unable to show any change over time.
- Because there is usually no face-to-face contact and respondents may remain anonymous.
- They are easy to replicate, as another researcher can repeat the research using exactly the same questions, and therefore the findings can be checked
- In a random sample, every member of the population has an equal chance of being selected; a quasi-random sample is more systematic and, say, every tenth name is taken, so the others have no chance of being selected.
- Where one suitable contact is made to take part in a survey, then that contact may suggest another, and so on.
- For positivists, detachment means objectivity and no researcher bias; for interpretive sociologists, detachment means the researcher does not see things through the eyes of the respondent and therefore will not gain a full understanding.