3.1 Asking Questions

3.2 Overcoming Inability to Answer

3.3 Overcoming Unwillingness to Answer

3.4 Increasing Willingness of Respondents

3.5 Determining the Order of Questions

3.6 What’s Next?


A Questionnaire – is a formalized set of questions for obtaining information from respondents.

Objectives of a Questionnaire:

  • translate the information need into a set of specific questions that the respondents can and will answer
  • uplift, motivate, and encourage respondents to become involved in the interview, to cooperate, and to complete the interview
  • minimize response error


Questioning Tactics


  • Choose an answer form a list of answer choices
  • +: easy to analyze, do not task respondents’ memory and make less stress
  • –: automatic and snap answers


  • Response options are not set
  • +: unlimited range of possible responses, “tests” respondent’s memory
  • –: complexity of coding and analysis, respondents may refuse to answer


  • Do you drink alcohol every day?


  • What drinks do you prefer for dinner?


Bias in Formulation

Q:  Do you approve smoking whilst praying?

A:  No

Q:  Do you approve praying whilst smoking?

A:  Yes

Issues to Consider in Questionnaire Design

  • Is the question necessary?
  • Are several questions needed instead of one?
  • Is the respondent informed?
  • Can the respondent remember?
  • Effort required of the respondents
  • Sensitivity of question
  • Legitimate purpose
  • Cultural issues
  • Ease of completion
  • Comprehensiveness
  • Bias in formulation

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