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Question types

 

Explanations > Social ResearchMeasurement > Question types

Scale | Bipolar | Dichotomous | Selection | Ranking | Coding considerations | See also

 

There are many different types of question you can ask in a survey or interview.

Scale questions

Scale questions ask the subject to select an item or a value from a fixed scale.

How happy were you at work today? (please tick only one)
[  ] Very happy
[  ] Quite happy
[  ] Neither happy nor unhappy
[  ] Quite unhappy
[  ] Very unhappy

This is the basis of the very common Likert scale. These questions are useful for converting choice into a variable score which can be analyzed, for example discovering correlation with another variable.

Bipolar questions

Bipolar questions have a scale with two ends. The subject is asked to show bias towards either end.

 

What is your balance of preference here?

I like going for walks. [  ] [  ] [  ] [  ] [  ] I like watching a movie.

 

This type of question can be use to force choice between very similar items (thus causing a semantic differential choice) or very different questions.

Dichotomous questions

Dichotomous (or binary) questions ask about black-and-white subjects, seeking only one of two answers. They are effectively scale questions with only two positions on the scale.

Did you vote in the last election?
    Yes [  ]     No [  ]

If you answered No, please go to section 2.

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