You are here

Designing Quality Survey Questions
Share

Designing Quality Survey Questions



June 2018 | 256 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

Surveys are a cornerstone of social and behavioral research, and with the use of web-based tools, surveys have become an easy and inexpensive means of gathering data. But how researchers ask a question can dramatically influence the answers they receive. 

Designing Quality Survey Questions shows readers how to craft high quality, precisely-worded survey questions that will elicit rich, nuanced, and ultimately useful data to help answer their research or evaluation questions. The authors address challenges such as language preferences for standard demographic questions (e.g. How to ask about gender), creative question design to keep respondents engaged and avoid survey fatigue, web-based survey formats, culturally-responsive survey design, and factors that influence survey responses (memory, social desirability, etc.). Numerous examples of questions illustrate each identified principle of question construction. 

Available with Perusall—an eBook that makes it easier to prepare for class


Perusall is an award-winning eBook platform featuring social annotation tools that allow students and instructors to collaboratively mark up and discuss their SAGE textbook. Backed by research and supported by technological innovations developed at Harvard University, this process of learning through collaborative annotation keeps your students engaged and makes teaching easier and more effective. Learn more

 
Preface
Why This Text  
What This Text Is  
What This Text Is Not  
Who Can Benefit From This Text  
Navigating This Text  
A Note About Language  
 
Acknowledgments
 
About the Authors
 
Chapter 1. WHY Quality Surveys and Questions Matter
What Is a Quality Survey?  
Why Does Quality Matter?  
Why Do We Need a Purposeful Survey Design Process?  
Applying Design Thinking to Survey Research  
A Purposeful Survey Design Process  
An Iterative Process  
Discussion Questions  
Design Drills  
Extended Learning  
 
PART I. WHAT TO CONSIDER BEFORE DRAFTING SURVEY QUESTIONS
 
Chapter 2. Planning and Predrafting
Why Survey? The Importance of Establishing Purpose  
What Will Be Measured? Understanding Constructs and Indicators  
Wait, Do You Really Need a Survey?  
What Can Be Measured With a Survey?  
What Are the Advantages and Limitations of Surveys?  
Discussion Questions  
Design Drills  
Extended Learning  
 
Chapter 3. Understanding Respondents
Cognitive Tasks Involved in Answering Questions  
Respondent Willingness and Ability to Participate in a Survey  
Context and Culture  
Discussion Questions  
Design Drills  
Extended Learning  
 
PART II. HOW TO DEVELOP SURVEY QUESTIONS AND RESPONSE OPTIONS
 
Chapter 4. Sourcing and Crafting Questions
Sourcing Survey Questions  
Composing Question Stems  
Avoiding Problematic Wording and Question Types  
Open-Ended Questions  
Closed-Ended Questions  
Discussion Questions  
Design Drills  
Extended Learning  
 
Chapter 5. Constructing Response Options
Determining Appropriate Response Options  
Strategies for Designing Response Options  
Discussion Questions  
Design Drills  
Extended Learning  
 
Chapter 6. Special Purpose and Sensitive Questions
Questions With Special Purposes  
Sensitive Questions  
Demographic Questions  
Discussion Questions  
Design Drills  
Extended Learning  
 
PART III. KNOWING WHEN A SURVEY IS READY FOR USE
 
Chapter 7. Finalizing Questions and Using Pretesting Strategies
Why Pretest Surveys and Their Questions?  
How Can Surveys and Their Questions Be Tested Prior to Use?  
Discussion Questions  
Design Drills  
Extended Learning  
 
Chapter 8. Pulling It All Together to Maximize Response
Survey Instructions  
Order Effects  
Formatting the Survey  
Contacting Potential Respondents  
Planning for Administration  
Discussion Questions  
Design Drills  
Extended Learning  
 
Appendix: Checklist for Quality Question Design
 
Glossary
 
References
 
Index

“This is a comprehensive, concise guide to creating quality items that provides guidance and rationale for design choices that will improve survey research.”

Anne K. Hughes
Michigan State University

“A one-stop shopping manual to survey design.” 

Allison K. Wisecup
Radford University
Key features

KEY FEATURES:

  • A design thinking framework helps researchers understand and empathize with their potential respondents and be able to build and test survey prototypes before administering surveys.
  • Direct guidance on potentially difficult aspects of survey writing, including crafting clear question stems and appropriate response options, working with sensitive question types, and understanding how question wording can influence response, address considerations for writing and administering surveys.
  • Stories from the Field boxes provide “real world” experiences collected from practitioners who share lessons learned about survey design.
  • Design Drills exercises challenge the reader and support application of the information included.
  • Discussion Questions designed for group discussion or individual reflection on the content included.

For instructors

Please select a format:

Select a Purchasing Option

Electronic version
Prices from
$20.00*
*180 day rental