Difference Between Survey and Experiment

The terms ‘survey’ and ‘experiment’ have the same meaning if they are seen superficially. However, a thorough and in depth study of the terms will show that both are completely different from other.

When a company launches a new product, it conducts a survey in order get an idea about how the product can be marketed. At the same time, when a scientist discovers a new drug, he/she has to perform an experiment to get to know about the effectiveness of that specific drug.

The survey method includes talking to people and getting their opinions about different products or  issue. This helps in getting a generalised idea about what people think of a particular thing.

For instance, if you want to check why people prefer brand A over brand B, you can conduct a survey and ask different people about it. You will get different reasons from different people. However, you will certainly find something common which makes the brand A superior to brand B.

So, a survey includes the analysis of the data collected from different people on a specific issue. It is solely based on the opinions of people about a particular product or an issue.

On the other hand, experiment is a detailed study of something that you want to prove scientifically. In experiment, you do not need to know about views of people. In fact, you just have to logically prove a concept using scientific methods.

For instance, if you manage to find a cure for HIV Aids, then you will have to do experiments to check the effectiveness of the drug you discovered. For that purpose, you will contact different people with positive HIV reports and ask them to try the drug you discovered.

If the drug works against the disease, then you can say that the experiment was successful and the drug can be made available to the market – only after it gets approved by FDA. So, the experiment includes all the figures that are taken from exposing a product to different tests.

A survey requires mass data before concluding any results. On the contrary, experiment does not need mass data, as it only focuses on qualitative data.


  • 1


    Survey is a comprehensive study of a market or area, about the impressions, opinions and satisfaction level of people on different issues.

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  • 2


    Experiment is a method of testing different assumptions by trial and error under different conditions set by the researcher to get the data about a specific thing.

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