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A survey is a method for collecting information or data as reported by individuals. This is a type of data collection known as self-report data, which means that individuals complete the survey (or provide the information) themselves. For example, if I wanted to collect information about what classes students enjoy the most, I might create a survey (has different types of questions on it pertaining to enjoyment of classes), pass it out to lots of students and ask them to complete it. The students respond to the questions themselves and then give the data back to me.