Question and choice responses:
- Allow a “Don’t Know” or “Not Applicable” response to all questions, except to those in which you are certain that all respondents will have a clear answer
- Include “Other” or “None” if either of these is a logically possible answer
3 basic types of questions:
- multiple choice,
- numeric open end
- text open end question and answer
Question and choice order:
- Ideally, the early questions in a survey should be easy and pleasant to answer
- Whenever possible leave difficult or sensitive questions until near the end of your survey
- Leave your demographic questions (age, gender, income, education, etc.) until the end of the questionnaire
- Always present agree-disagree choices in that order
- Randomize the order of related questions
- Present a series of questions in a random order
- Change the “positive” answer (applies mainly to level-of-agreement questions)
- People tend to pick the choices nearest the start of a list when they read the list
Do not put two questions into one.
- Try to make sure the wording does not favor one answer choice over another.
- Avoid emotionally charged words or leading questions
- Avoid technical terms and acronyms
Leave a space at the end of a questionnaire entitled “Other Comments.