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Twelve Qualities of Good Survey Questions

Surveys are a great way to collect information about people’s perceptions, opinions, thoughts, attitudes, etc. However, the trick is making sure that you’re asking your questions the right way in order to get the data that you need, as well as ensuring that the people who take your survey will all interpret your survey questions the same way. To help you get started, below are 12 qualities of good survey questions to keep in mind when writing your surveys.

A good survey/survey question…

  1. Evokes the truth. You should avoid sensitive questions.
  2. Asks for an answer on only one dimension. You will need to phrase the question to extract the exact information you need, and avoid the possibility of someone giving you an ambiguous response.
  3. Can accommodate all possible answers. A good practice is to allow for multiple responses. Don’t assume that you know it all.
  4. Has mutually exclusive options. (i.e. There should be only one correct or appropriate choice.)
  5. Flows well from the previous question. Your question transitions should be smooth and logical.
  6. Does not make erroneous assumptions.
  7. Does not imply a desired answer. Remember to use objectivity in your questions.
  8. Does not use emotionally loaded or vaguely defined words. Also remember not to use unfamiliar acronyms or abbreviations.
  9. Does not ask the respondent to rank more than five items in a given series.
  10. Puts personal questions at the end of the survey.
  11. Gives respondents the option to not answer the question.
  12. Uses one or two open-ended questions. This invokes direct, well thought out answers.

Contact an Allegiance sales representative today to inquire about Allegiance Survey Design & Data Gathering Best Practices Consulting Services. And/or, sign up today for one or more of Allegiance survey training courses at maritzcx.com/university.