General survey guidelines

Avoid biased or leading questions: 

Avoid using leading questions in a survey, these will lead respondents to answer in a biased, particular way. An example of a leading question would be: 'To what extent do you agree with the following statement'. Instead, you will yield more balanced results by asking: 'To what extent, do you agree or disagree with the following statement?' 

 

Keep it simple:

Ensure the question is simple and straightforward enough to be clearly understood. If you do need to use technical or industry-specific jargon always include an explanation. If you need to use acronyms, always explain what these stand for when they are first used in the survey. 

 

Don't make assumptions: 

Always ensure you include answer options that enable all respondents to answer accurately - the simplest way of doing this is to include an opt-out such as 'Not sure', 'Not Applicable' or 'Other'. For example: 'Which type of smartphone do you own, if any?' should always include an opt-out such as ‘ Not applicable – I do not own a smartphone’ 

 

In some instances, a question may be applicable to more than one experience or example. For example, looking at the question: 'Which, if any, of the following banks/building societies do you have a current account with?' (single select). Respondents would either need a more specific wording in the question or a multi-choice answer to be able to respond accurately. Instead, by asking 'Which, if any, of the following banks/building societies do you have your MAIN CURRENT ACCOUNT with?' (single select) respondents will be able to indicate a precise and accurate answer. 

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