Questionnaire Design

Things to Avoid when Asking Questions

  • Complex Question: questions that are too difficult for the respondents to answer
  • Leading and Loaded Questions
  • leading questions: questions that point respondents towards the answer desired by the researcher
  • loaded questions: questions that both point respondents towards a particular answer and are emotional laden
  • Ambiguous Questions: Questions that do not provide respondents with enough information so as to intelligently answer the question
  • Double barrelled questions: including two different questions in one.
  • Burdensome questions: questions that would require the respondents to put more effort into answering the questionnaire than they are willing to provide
  • assumption questions: questions where researchers assume respondents have information they don’t have

Issues in questionnaire lay out

Pre-testing the questionnaire

  • there are many things that pre-testing a questionnaire can accomplish
  • how long it will take respondents to answer the questionnaire
  • are there any problem questions
  • is it possible to analyse the answers given the way the researcher expects
  • steps in pre-testing a questionnaire
  • develop initial questionnaire
  • administer it to a convenience sample
  • analyse results
  • revise questionnaire
  • conduct additional pre-tests as necessary

Designing questionnaires for global markets

  • questionnaires that are administered in global markets have the additional problems associated with different languages
  • the best way to translate questionnaires is through “Back translation”
  • the questionnaire is initially translated into the other language
  • the translated questionnaire is then translated back into the original language
  • the original and the “Back translated” questionnaires are compared
  • any differences in meaning are addressed

Open-ended versus closed-ended questions

  • open-ended questions: questions where no answers are provided for respondents to select from
  • closed-ended questions: questions where alternatives are given for respondents to select among



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