Editing Questionnaire


Double-barreled Question – A question on a questionnaire, in which two different things are being asked simultaneously. The respondent is unable to answer effectively. The answer is valueless as it is not clear which question is being answered. For example: Are you for or against longer summer holidays and tax cuts?” The respondent who is in favor of longer holiday’s but against tax cuts (or vice versa) is not able to answer the question.

Editing Questionnaire – The composition of a questionnaire. A number of rules are applicable that are, more or less, in accordance with those valid for a single question; furthermore, the questions in the questionnaire should be arrange in (psycho) logical sequence. The whole needs to be adequately structured. A questionnaire as rule contains several “funnel questions.” In effect, it should not be necessary for him to answer questions about the purchase of new cars as a condition of completing the remainder of the questionnaire. See also: Wording of question/Routing/Questionnaire?Filter Question/Rotation

Educated Guess – A guess as to the answer of a question based on some limited knowledge of the field involved. In a multiple choice question, an educated guess can be made by eliminating one or two of the possible answers with the help of such limited knowledge. A guess made between the remaining answers is more likely to be correct simply because of the smaller number of possible wrong answers.

Filter Method – An inquiry technique in which the party interviewed is led, by way of questions, from the general to the specific. For example, in a readership study, the reader is separated from the non-reader by means of a filter question; the question is posed whether or not publications belonging to a specific category are occasionally read and, if so, whether the most recent publication in that category has been read. In this manner, the person being interviewed is led from a broad spectrum general question to a very specific question.

Filter Question – A question in an interview (that is) intended to eliminate some of the people in a potential sample. For example, a question is asked about automobile ownership. People who do not own automobile are precluded from answering further questions about traffic, road use, etc. These people have been “filtered out” of sample. See also: Filter Method

Indirect Question – See: Direct Question

Item – A unit, (fractional) part or segment, number, point of interest, etc. A small and elementary segment of questionnaire, question or scale.

Leading Question – Syn: Suggestive Question A question in an interview that is (poorly) formulated, in that it is phrased in such a way as to provoke the response desired by the interviewer. An obvious example: Don’t you think that capital punishment in this country should be carried out by a way of the gallows rather than the electric chair?” The subject questioned is more or less “forced” to reply to this question with a “yes.” To be objective, the questions should be put as follows: “ What would your opinion concerning the reintroduction of the gallows as a means of capital punishment?” See also: Wording of Questioned

Loop – A question (or questions) in a questionnaire that, more or less, repeats a previously asked question. The objective is to determine whether or not the subject questioned is honest and/or not consistent in his replies. See also: Lie Scale’

Multiple Answers – See: Multiple-choice Question

Multiple-choice Question – A question that offers the respondent various different possibilities of reply. The subject tested must choose the correct answer from those provided. Example: “a chisel is”
a. a bird
b. a tool
c. a hole in the ice
d. a kind of food

Open-ended Question – A question that is part of an investigation or test in which the subject is left entirely free to formulate his own answer. The opposite of this a closed-ended question. (In this instance the task of the subject is reduced to marking or indicating an answer from a number of pre-set possibilities.) The open-ended question leaves the person free to reply in his own words. Everything is taken down (or recorded) in as literal a way as possible. Open-ended question are often used in pilot studies. See also: Inquiry/Pre-coding

Operationalizing/To operationalize – To place a concept in a context such that its quality can be measured, unless it is made operational: “drinking at least a quart of beer a day” (or a similar measurable description). See also: Operational definition

Pre-coding – To indicate all (or nearly all) answer possibilities to a question on a questionnaire beforehand. The advantages of this method are: speed of the interview (the subject questioned does not not have to think very long, and the interviewer requires less time to jot down the answers), less chance for error (marking the answer instead of writing it down), reporting (the answer is identical to the appearing on the questionnaire). The disadvantage of pre-coding is the loss of both spontaneity and fresh answers. Pre-coding always demands some degree of knowledge concerning the subject of the research (sometimes much knowledge is collected for this purpose in a pilot study.) See also: Open-ended question/Multiple-choice question

Price Range – A question in a price study the purpose of which is to determine an optimum price or elasticity of price for a product, brand or service. For example, the subject indicates what price he considers either high, low or just right. A variety of techniques are available to determine the price range of a given product. See also: Scale/Price elasticity

Projective Question – A kind of question that appears in questionnaires concerning attitude: it is a question that seems to concern not the respondent’s view but rather his view of other people’s opinions. Thus: “What do you think the opinion of most people in this country would be about having a woman as President?” The purpose of this sort of question is to obtain an answer that is honest and reliable: it is assumed that the subject questioned will project his ideas and opinion onto others (which, in fact, frequently occurs). See also: Attitude

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