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An Insight on the general kind of bias in survey questions

Biased question - How is Mr._ when it comes to continuing the heritage of a political family?

Edited unbiased question - Please tell your views about Mr._’s achievements in continuing the legacy of a political family.

Biased question - Do you think pet owners should vaccinate their dogs?

Edited unbiased question - Do you think dogs should be vaccinated?

In the above examples, dumb and concerned are the two words that negatively impact the entire tone and meaning of the question. Just by removing them, we could make the sentence not just easy and simple; but also free of any sort of biasedness

So, what is a biased survey?

A biased survey is the one which loses its core objective and aim because of the Format And Question Of The Survey. A biased survey is populated with all the wrong questions; manipulated findings and is complete with errors.

A biased survey results in the wrong findings, higher than average drop outs.

How to remove the possibility of creating biased survey?

Avoid leading questions

since they negate survey results. The two examples discussed at the onset of the article are leading questions which leads a respondents to answer and thereby develops a bad impression. So, you could simply wait to get their answer without having to create any sense of urgency.

Avoid loaded questions to get accurate answer

“Where do you like to party on the weekends?” is a loaded question because what if respondents do not like party. Instead, you could ask “What do you like to do on the weekends?”

Avoid double-barreled questions

Avoid double-barreled questions. Asking respondents two questions at the same time confuses them, and perhaps most of them would only focus on one; which means the most to them. “How happy and unhappy are you with the present government?” asking this is putting a lot of burden and influencing the answer to some extent because the respondents would spend more time focusing on one attribute that most appeal to them rather than holistically distributing the answer into two portions. Rather, ask - What do you think about the achievements of the present government?

Avoid the absolute question

Asking Do you always shower before bed makes your attendants cornered since most would reply NO. So, Finding a Consumer Trend might not be achievable. Rather, if you ask more logical question such as - How many nights a month do you shower before sleeping perhaps bring in more qualified and accurate answers.

Other things to remember
  • Avoid unclear, confusing questions
  • Use multiple choice answers
  • Add prefer not to answer option for more freedom in answering the questions
  • Develop a smart, useful and simple structure
  • Put special emphasis on survey question balance and survey structure balance
These are just some of the simple ways you can design and develop great, unbiased questions which can help derive better survey answer.

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