What is a Respondent?

A respondent is an individual who is asked to provide information in response to a survey, questionnaire, or experiment. Respondents are sometimes referred to as participants, as their answers and actions are a necessary component of the research process. Respondents are often chosen based on their demographic characteristics, such as age, gender, race, and occupation. They may also be chosen based on their familiarity with the subject of the survey, their willingness to answer questions, or their access to certain types of information.

Types of Respondents

Respondents can be divided into two broad categories: general population and special population.

  • General Population Respondents are selected from the general public. This type of respondent is often used when researchers are looking to collect data from a representative sample of the population.
  • Special Population Respondents are selected from a particular group or population. This type of respondent may be used when the researcher needs to find out more specific information from a particular audience, such as students or healthcare professionals.

Advantages of Respondents

Respondents have the potential to provide valuable information to researchers. They can provide insight into opinions, behaviors, and attitudes that might otherwise be difficult to access. Respondents can also provide data that is more reliable and accurate than other types of data, such as self-reported or anecdotal data.

Disadvantages of Respondents

One of the main drawbacks of respondents is that they can be unreliable. Respondents may not answer all of the questions accurately or may provide biased responses. They may also be influenced by the way the questions are worded or the order in which they are asked.


Respondents can be a valuable source of information for researchers, but they can also be unreliable. To ensure accurate results, researchers should carefully consider who they select as respondents and how the questions are worded.