Types of Questions

The golden rule when framing questions is to make them simple. If you are conducting interviews by any intrusive medium such as the telephone, keep the number of questions down. Seven seems to be about the maximum tolerable to unsolicited callers. Fewer questions leave respondents wondering whether your inquiry is serious. More questions become tiresome.

If it is possible to interpret any question in an ambiguous way, someone will. People generally take each question at face value. Ask yourself what each question means literally. Avoid all potentially confusing meanings. Also avoid words that invariably trigger predictably unwanted reactions. If you color a question in any way, you will slant the answers and defeat the entire purpose of the survey. Questions should be phrased without giving any hint to your own preferences. This doesn't mean to say they cannot be lively.

It is essential to ask everyone the same question, not variations of the same question. "What features do you want?" is not the same as "What features do you expect?" There are five classes of questions:

♦ Comparative

♦ Non-Comparative

Note The Likert scale is used to measure subjective issues such as attitudes, perceptions, and values. It uses a scale of statements that respondents may choose from.

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