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Learning and Evaluation/Archive/Learning modules/3Use caution when asking personal questions

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Part 1: Introduction

Why Survey?
Why Surveys Are Useful
Survey instruments
Types of information
Attributes - a special case
Survey Objective and Planning

Part 2: Reliability & Validity

Reliability & Validity
Face Validity
Content Validity
Criterion Validity
Construct Validity

Part 3: Question Construction

Writing Good Questions
Questions from Existing Surveys
Constructing your own Questions
Be Specific
Be Concise
Avoid Double Negatives
Minimize Social Desirability Bias
Avoid Double-barreled questions
Avoid abbreviations, jargon, technical terms, or slang
Avoid leading questions
Avoid loaded questions
Use appropriate wording
Ask useful questions
Rely on second-hand data sparsely
Use caution when asking personal questions

Part 4: Response Options

Question types
Dichotomous pairs
Multiple choice
Check all that apply
Choosing response options

Part 5: Questionnaire structure

Important considerations
Questions order
Additional Resources

  Wikimedia Training Designing Effective Questions Menu

Use caution when asking personal questions

To learn the income level of participants.

Very Poor
How much do you earn each year?
Individuals are typically hesitant to report the details of very personal information, like income.
About how much income do you earn each year?
Below $10,000
This question continues to be poor because the question is not worded in a specific manner and assumes that respondents have earn the same income each year.
In which of the following categories does your last year’s annual income best fit?
Below $10,000
This question is more sensitive to the variability of the question target (i.e., income), taking into account that income changes from year to year and last year's income is likely the most accurate representation of their current income.