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Evaluation Tip 4:Recognizing mistakes in survey questions

One common way to do an evaluation is to use a survey.When using or developing a survey, it is important to be able to recognize and avoid writing bad questions. There are certain characteristics that you can look for to ensure that your questions are written properly.


Common Mistakes in Survey Questions:

1. Double-barreling

2. Leading

3. Wrong assumptions

4. Missing response options

5.Incorrect use of scales

6.Negative behavior responses

Testing Survey Questions

The best way to know if your questions are going to get the answers you need is to test your survey before you use it to gather data. Have a person who has the same understanding of the issues being addressed as those people the survey is intended for review the survey and tell you: 1) if the questions are clear, 2) what he or she thinks each question is asking, 3) if there should be response options other than the ones you have listed, and 4) if they think valuable information will be obtained from these questions.

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Center for Disease Control For additional information contact:
Launa Mallett, 412-386-6658, LMallett@CDC.GOV
National Institute Occupational Safety and Health