Survey Question Dos and Don’ts Redux

This past summer, I published a series of posts for Insight Central about effective questionnaire design.  It cannot be stressed enough that survey questions must carefully be thought out in order to obtain information you can act on.  In this month’s issue of Quirk’s Marketing Research Review, Brett Plummer of HSM Group, Ltd. reiterates many of the points made in my earlier posts.

Plummer’s article (you’ll need to enter the code 20101008 in the Article ID blank) provides a series of dos and don’ts when writing survey questions. I’ll summarize them here:

Do:

  1. Keep your research objectives in mind;
  2. Consider the best type of question to ask for each question;
  3. Think about how your going to analyze your data;
  4. Make sure all valid response options are included; and
  5. Consider where you place each question within your survey.

Don’t:

  1. Create confusing or vague questions;
  2. Forget to ensure that the response options to questions are appropriate, thorough, and not overlapping;
  3. Ask leading questions; and
  4. Ask redundant questions.

Plummer does a good job at reminding of the importance of these guidelines and points out that effective survey questions are the key to an organization’s obtaining the highest quantity and quality of actionable information, and thus maximizing its research investment.

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One Response to “Survey Question Dos and Don’ts Redux”

  1. Hikma Says:

    Great! That was brilliant, good and thorough, but next time could you give examples of the dos and don’ts? It would be much appreciated.
    Thanks!

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