Ethical Considerations Students Need to Keep In Mind When Creating Surveys

Blocksurvey blog author
Dec 21, 2023 · 4 mins read

Surveys are the perfect tool to get a lot of amazing insights and useful information for research, market analysis (no matter what area), and public opinion. However, when working with people, it is key to remember the rules of morality and ethics, especially since you will be collecting their personal thoughts on various topics. Keeping the correct survey format in mind will help ensure a comfortable experience for everyone involved and collect structured and fair data.

Ethical standards include protecting the rights of participants, privacy measures, communication of potential risks and, of course, confirmed consent. The American Association of Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) emphasizes respect, honesty and integrity when interacting with the public and respondents. In this article, you will find references regarding AAPOR standards on ethics in conducting surveys. Take them into account so that the process is comfortable for all participants.

Absolute Honesty

Each respondent must be aware of the survey’s purpose, content, and sponsorship to make an informed decision about participation. Be sure to conduct an introduction where you inform participants about key points such as the main blocks of the study, incentives, confidentiality, documents to sign, and mission. This could be a study for a university, a satisfaction survey, or in-depth research for your marketing department.

Prepare a PDF document with all the necessary information, including an introduction for survey purposes, or it could be a simple landing page. Of course, this will take time, so it’s best to free up your busy schedule by outsourcing school tasks. Just google “do my paper for me by professionals,” and you will quickly find a reliable assistant who will complete a task of any complexity. It’s much easier to keep up with everything when writing specialists are on your side.

Privacy Protection And Confidentiality

This point is of great importance, as the protection of personal data has always been necessary, and it’s key now in the era of hacker attacks. Follow the regulations regarding information security. Data should be collected, stored and used for research purposes only. Take care of such measures as restricted access, encryption and secure data storage. Be sure to inform respondents about the privacy measures you plan to use and offer contact information if a request arises.

No Stress And Anxiety

Of course, participants should never be pressured or coerced into participating in the survey. Persuasion is also prohibited. Participation must be 100% voluntary, and respondents should also be informed that they can refuse or stop the process at any time.


Your job as the survey organizer is to create an atmosphere in which participants can safely express their opinions without the threat of being judged. If you specified complete anonymity in the terms of participation, then adhere to this policy to the end.

Most people agree to participate, knowing that their data will remain confidential. And yes, be sure to state the difference between confidentiality and anonymity. The first guarantees that the collected information will be available to some groups (usually the party that conducts the survey itself). Anonymity means that the personalities of the participants won’t be available to anyone.

Frankness And Integrity

Of course, you want to receive the most honest, detailed and accurate answers. To do this, you must design questions that will inspire respondents to share personal information and reveal their knowledge, experience and abilities. The best way is to create unambiguous and clear questions without preconceived formulations. Also, give respondents clear instructions that will encourage them to participate truthfully.


Surveys often deal with sensitive topics, so take care not to embarrass participants. People are usually sensitive, so make sure that the wording doesn’t offend their feelings. If participants feel uncomfortable, this may lead to them abandoning the survey.

Consider the age of the participants and their background, and be especially careful when working with minorities, the disabled, etc. It certainly wouldn’t hurt to study a few books on emotional intelligence. You will need it not only for research but also for balancing your studies and career development in general.

Reward System

Be sure to use incentives to motivate participants. Whether it’s a promotional code or a physical gift, explain how the participant can pick it up.

No Bias

As the AAPOR points out, researchers should avoid bias in the survey and wording. Don’t push respondents towards specific answers under any circumstances - this is the only way you can get truthful information from them. Leading questions with ambiguous language should be excluded.

We recommend using neutral language and a balanced tone without complex terms or double standards. It is best to pre-test the survey to identify any leading questions and potential biases.


Obtaining documented consent from survey participants is a necessary step. This means that respondents are aware of the survey’s mission, parties who will have access to the results and use the data, and the advantages of the study. Make sure participants know all survey procedures. Devote enough energy and time to this point. Just entrust your school assignments to the best research paper writing service and focus on what requires the maximum of your attention.

Share Your Results

Survey results should always be published with a statement disclosing any interests of the sponsors funding the study. For example, if a study on the effects of an SPF cream on skin was sponsored by a cream manufacturer, this should be clearly disclosed wherever the results are published. Also, indicate who sponsored and conducted the survey, the exact wording and sequence of questions, the number of participants, and so on.

To Wrap It Up

Ethics in surveys is important for many reasons. It protects the rights of participants, ensures the security of their data and is necessary to maintain anonymity. Therefore, always remember to avoid leading questions, obtain informed consent, and protect confidentiality.

By implementing these ethical principles, researchers can collect valuable information and contribute to the advancement of knowledge in many areas. At the same time, the well-being of survey participants is a crucial priority.

Ethical Considerations Students Need to Keep In Mind When Creating Surveys FAQ

What are ethical issues?

Ideas and thoughts about what is morally right and wrong. When it comes to surveys, following ethical standards ensures a comfortable environment for participants and full transparency of all processes.

What is the AAPOR Code of Ethics?

Most organizations follow the code of ethics established by the American Association of Public Opinion Research (AAPOR). This code encourages honesty, respect and integrity when interacting with respondents, clients and the public.

How to conduct research ethically?

In the introduction, explain the purpose of the survey and how the data will be used (for example, for business market research, academic research, etc.). Be transparent about how you will handle participants’ personal information. Indicate that participation is 100% voluntary. Try to avoid questions that might offend, upset, or humiliate participants. Explain what participants must do to qualify for any survey rewards and how the reward will be delivered.

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Vimala Balamurugan

Vimala heads the Content and SEO Team at BlockSurvey. She is the curator of all the content that BlockSurvey puts out into the public domain. Blogging, music, and exploring new places around is how she spends most of her leisure time.


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