3.5 Determining the Order of Questions

Determining the Order of Questions

  • Opening Questions
    The opening questions should be interesting, simple, and non-threatening.
  • Type of Information
    As a general guideline, basic information should be obtained first, followed by classification, and, finally, identification information.
  • Difficult Questions
    Difficult questions or questions which are sensitive, embarrassing, complex, or dull, should be placed late in the sequence.


Determining the Order of Questions

  • Effect on Subsequent Questions (funneling)
    General questions should precede the specific questions1. What considerations are important to you in selecting a department store?
    2. In selecting a department store, how important is convenience of location?


  • Logical Order / Branching Questions
    The question being branched should be placed as close as possible to the question causing the branching.
    The branching questions should be ordered so that the respondents cannot anticipate what additional information will be required.

Example: Flowchart of a Questionnaire


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