Summarized and written by Leman Selda Argeso (Marmara MBA)

Summarized and written by Leman Selda Argeso (Marmara MBA)
Submitted to : Sule Özmen
Relevance and accuracy are the two basic criteria to be met if the questionnaire is to achieve the researcher’s purposes. To achieve these ends, a researcher who
plans to systematically design a questionnaire will be required to make several
decisions, typically but not necessarily in the order listed below:
1.What should be asked?
2.How should each question be phrased?
3.In what sequence should the questions be arranged?
4.What questionnaire layout will best serve the research objectives?
5.How should the questionnaire be pretested? Does the questionnaire need to be
Phrasing Questions :
Open-ended response question: A question that poses some problem or topic and
asks the respondent to answer in his or her own words. For example:
What things do you like most about your job?
What names of local banks can you think of offhand?
Fixed-alternative question: A question (sometimes called “closed question,”) in
which the respondent is given specific, limited alternative responses and asked to
choose the one closest to his or her own viewpoint. For example:
Did you work overtime or at more than one job last week?
Yes __
No ___
Compared to ten years ago, would you say that the quality of most
products made in Japan is higher, about the same, or not as good?
Higher About the same ___ Not as good
The simple-dichotomy or dichotomous-alternative question: A fixed-alternative
question that requires the respondent to choose one of two dichotomous alternatives.
The answer can be a simple “yes” or “no” or a choice between “this” and “that.” For
Did you make any long-distance calls last week?
Yes__ No__
The determinant-choice question: A type of fixed-alternative question that requires
a respondent to choose one (and only one) response from among several possible
alternatives. For example:
Please give us some information about your flight. In which section of the aircraft
did you sit?
First class __ Business class __ Coach class __
Frequency-determination question : A type of fixed-alternative question that asks
for an answer about general frequency of occurrence. For example:
How frequently do you watch the MTV television channel?
Everyday ……….……….__
5- 6 times a week ……...__
2 - 4 times a week ……....__
Once a week
Less than once a week
Attitude rating scale: Measures used to rate attitudes, e.g., the Likert scale, semantic
differential, and Stapel scale, are also fixed-alternative questions.
Zigmund William, Business Research Method
The checklist question: A type of fixed-alternative question that allows the
respondent to provide multiple answers to a single question.
The respondent indicates past experience, preference, and the like merely by
checking off an item. İn many cases the choices are adjectives that describe a
particular object. A typical checklist follows:
Please check which of the following sources of information about
investments you regularly use, if any.
- Personal advice of your broker(s)
- Brokerage newsletters
- Brokerage research reports
- Investment advisory service(s)
- Conversations with other investors
- Your own study and intuition
- None of these
- Other (please specify) ___________
Avoid Leading and Loaded Questions :
Leading question : A question that suggests or implies certain answers.
In a study of the dry-cleaning industry this question was asked:
Many people are using dry cleaning less because of improved wash-and-wear
clothes. How do you feel wash-and-wear clothes have affected your use of drycleaning facilities in the past four years?
_____Use less ____ No change
_____Use more
The potential “bandwagon effect” implied in this question threatens the study’s
Loaded question: A question that suggests social desirability answers or biased with
emotional charge.
Consider the following:
In light of today’s savings and loan crisis, it would be in the public’s best interest
to have the federal government offer low-interest boans to insolvent savings and
ban organizations.
__Strongly ___Agree ___Uncertain ___ Disagree ___ Strongly
A different answer might be given if the loaded portion of the statement, “sayings
and ban crisis,” had another wording suggesting an insolvency problem of less
magnitude than a crisis.
Counterbiasing statement : An introductory statement or preface to a question that
reduces a respondent’s reluctance to answer potentially embarrassing questions.
Ex: “To help classify your answers, we’d like to ask you a few questions. Again, your
answers will be kept in strict confidence.”
Split-ballot technique: A technique used to control for response bias. Two
alternative phrasings of the same question are utilized for respective halves of the
sample to yield a more accurate total response than would be possible if only a single
phrasing are utilized.
For example, in a study on small-car-buying behavior, one-half of the imported-car
purchasers received a questionnaire in which the statement read: “Small U.S. cars are
cheaper to maintain than small imported cars.” The other half of the imported-car
owners received a questionnaire in which the statement read:
“Small imported cars are cheaper to maintain than small U.S. cars.”
Avoid Ambiguity: Be as Specific as Possible
Avoid Burdensome Questions that may tax the respondent’s memory
Avoid Double-Barreled Items
Double-barreled question : A question that may induce bias because it covers two
issues at once .
This kind of questions should always be avoided. İt’s easy to make the mistake of
asking two questions rather than one. For example, “Please indicate if you agree or
disagree with the following statement: ‘1 have called in sick or left work to golf.’
Which reason is it: calling in sick on leaving work (perhaps with permission) to play
Order Bias : Bias caused by the influence of earlier questions in a questionnaire or
by an answer’s position in a set of answers.
Order bias can distort survey results. Order bias results from an alternative
answer’s position in a set of answers or from the sequencing of questions. If questions
about a specific clothing store are asked prior to questions concerning the criteria in
selecting a clothing store, respondents who state that they shop at a store where
parking needs to be improved may also state that parking is not as important a factor
as they really believe it is, to prevent appearing inconsistent.
Funnel technique : A procedure where general are asked before specific questions in
order to obtain the unbiased responses.
This procedure allows the researcher to understand the respondent’s frame of
reference before asking more specific questions about the respondent’s particular
level of information and intensity of opinions.
Filter question : A question in a questionnaire that screens out respondents not
qualified to answer a second question.
Asking “Where do you generally have check-cashing would screen out the people
who are not qualified to answer.
Pivot question : Another form of filter question used to determine which version of a
second question will be asked. It can be used to obtain income information and other
data that respondents may be reluctant to provide. For example, a respondent is asked
“Is your total family income over $50,000?” IF UNDER, ASK “Is
it over or under $25,000?” IF OVER, ASK, “Is it over or under
$75, OOO?”
1. Under$25,000
2. $25,000—$50,000
3. $50,000—$75,000
4. Over$75,000
A preliminary tabulation : Tabulation of the results of a pretest. It often illustrates
that while a question is easily comprehended and answered by the respondent, it is an
inappropriate question because it does not solve the business problem.
Consider the following example from a survey among distributors of powderactuated tools concerning the percentage of sales to given industries.
Please estimate what percentage of your fastener and load sales go to the following
% heating, plumbing, and air-conditioning
% carpentry
% electrical
% maintenance
% other (please specify)
Back translation: The process of translating a questionnaire into another language
and then back into the original language by a second, independent translator. The
back translator is often a person whose native tongue is the language that will be used
on the questionnaire. Thus, inconsistencies between the English version and the
translation can be identified and modified, if necessary.