If you were conducting research about a sensitive topic such as the impact of parental addiction on delinquency or the experiences of victims of sexual exploitation, would you use an interview or a telephone survey? Be sure to include a brief explanation as to why you chose the data-gathering technique and the strengths and weaknesses of your chosen technique.
                                                     CLASSMATE’S POST
There are advantages and disadvantages to each type of data-gathering technique when research involves a sensitive topic.  In such a scenario, I would use a telephone survey to obtain the information sought after.  Advantages of telephone surveys include less cost, less staff, and less time than other methods require (Hagan, 2014).  Telephone surveys do not require staff be sent into the field to collect the data.  Instead, staff can operate the telephone and recording devices, or the researcher may even opt to use an automated telephone system.  This saves time and costs by eliminating the need for travel by field staff.  Telephone surveys have a low nonresponse rate, which corresponds to bias.  However, one of the disadvantages to telephone surveys is the rate of those refusing to participate.  Surveys designed in a way that combats the refusal rate are more successful, but that brings forth another disadvantage in the way of qualitative information (Hagan, 2014).  It is difficult to derive much detail from telephone surveys.  Another disadvantage is screening for the target audience, which can be difficult when looking for participants subjected to certain behaviors. 
Even with the known disadvantages, I suggest that the benefits outweigh the costs in this scenario.  Participants are more likely to be honest and forthcoming via phone as opposed to an in-person interview.  The researcher is less likely to influence participants as well.  The overall savings in terms of cost, time, and data quality are persuasive arguments that telephone surveys are the best method in this scenario.  
Hagan, F. E. (2014). Research methods in criminal justice and criminology (9th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

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