Create Online Surveys with Q-Set.deIn the past 24 hours 4211 questions
have been answered.

Take part in online surveys on current topics.
Deutsche Version
Design of online surveys
  • Plan your survey
  • Create a questionnaire
  • Start your survey
In the glossary you find more information about
design of online surveys.
HomepageInstructionsMy online surveysSurvey participantsUser accountContact10 survey tips

Survey tip 5: Avoid assumptions and suggestive questions!

Assumptions in the formulation of questions can lead to the respondents being unable to answer properly, because while they agree with the actual statement they do not agree with the part of the sentence which includes the assumption (this also applies to questions which contain explicit premises which you must agree with before you get to the "actual" question. For example:

"Does the lack of respect schoolchildren have for their teachers, in your opinion, influence everyday teaching methods in schools?"

In the formulation of this question it is declared to be correct that schoolchildren have a lack of respect for their teachers.
This may even be factually correct. However, how should the respondent react if they do not share this clear assumption? If the respondent does not agree that schoolchildren have a lack of respect for their teachers they won’t (be able to) answer the question.

Suggestive questions have the disadvantage of forcing the respondents into a corner and reducing their freedom to answer the questions. Here is an example:

"Leading scientists believe that car exhaust emissions can hinder the growth of children. Do you think this view is correct or do you think it is wrong?"

Other comparable types of phrases are "Most people..." or "It has been well documented that..." or "as is well known...".

Phrases such as these either lead to the respondent lacking the courage to contradict the authority of the statement or the majority of "the others", so they adapt their answer. It can also lead to people reacting to the restrictions when answering the question by quite deliberately going against the opinion of the experts or the majority. In both cases the actual opinion is not given, rather the respondent adapts or rejects the general opinion. So the suggestion should be removed from the formulation of the question and instead you should ask: "Do you think the statement, car exhaust emissions can hinder the growth of children is right or wrong?"
Ein Arbeitsbuch
Aus der Reihe 'Studienskripten zur Soziologie' im VS Verlag
4. erw. Aufl. 2014. 203 S.
Autor: Rolf Porst
ISBN: 978-3658021177
Preis: 14,99 Euro
10 survey tips

Formulation of questions
Survey tip 1
Survey tip 2
Survey tip 3
Survey tip 4
Survey tip 5
Survey tip 6
Survey tip 7
Survey tip 8
Survey tip 9
Survey tip 10
Book tip

Legal notice | Privacy policy | The project

Deutsche Version Austria | Switzerland | United Kingdom | Italy | France Spain | Netherlands | Belgium | Liechtenstein | Czech Republic Poland | Europe | Tokelau | Russia | India | USA

© 2008-2024

Last updated: 29.05.2024