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What are the disadvantages of primary research?

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Quick Answer

The major disadvantage of primary research is the huge cost involved in gathering information. Similarly, it consumes a lot of time since a researcher has to prepare for the study, gather details, and process the information into coherent and logical results.

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Full Answer

Primary research is the process of gathering new information about a certain phenomenon in society. Expenses of primary research include the cost of stationery, printing materials, transport, accommodation and compensating research assistants. Conducting a census is one example of primary research that involves great costs and takes a lot of time.

As compared to secondary research, where a person simply obtains pre-researched information, primary research consumes a lot of time. Since the respondents in primary research are many and varied, a researcher runs the risk of obtaining biased or inaccurate findings. However, this drawback can be eliminated by targeting a sampled audience.

Another disadvantage is the timing factor. As primary research takes a lot of time, its findings could be irrelevant by the time they are processed. One method of primary research is questionnaires. Here, respondents may wrongly interpret the questions, leading to wrong or undesirable feedback. However, one big advantage of primary research is the fact that a researcher has the ability to collect information that was previously unavailable, unknown or debatable.

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