NEO Shop Talk November 20th, 2017
CategoriesCategories Contact Us Archives NEO Main Site Search

Sep

01

Date prong graphic

Formatting Survey Questions – Advice from Dillman

Posted by on September 1st, 2006 Posted in: Practical Evaluation, Questionnaires and Surveys


Donald Dillman is probably the most recognized scholar of social science survey research. He has done numerous experiments about the effect of item formats on how people respond to survey items. For instance, in “check all that apply” survey questions, the items at the top get the most responses because respondents stop reading halfway through the list. Changing the list to a series of “Yes No” questions forces respondents to read the entire list and results in better survey data.

The link below takes you to an article authored by Dillman and Christian that reports results from a series of experiments on item formats that can guide us in the best design of survey questions:

The Influence of Words, Symbols, Numbers, and Graphics on Answers to Self-Administered Questionnaires: results from 18 Experiments

You can find many other articles about surveys at Dillman’s website:

Dillman’s website

Image of the author ABOUT Cindy Olney
Cindy Olney is the Assistant Director of the NNLM Evaluation Office. She leads NNLM's evaluation efforts, designs evaluation methods, and guides analysis and reporting of evaluation findings.

Email author View all posts by

Subscribe to our blog!

NEO’s Latest Tweet

Annual Archive

This project is funded by the National Library of Medicine (NLM), National Institutes of Health (NIH) under cooperative agreement number UG4LM012343 with the University of Washington.

NNLM and NATIONAL NETWORK OF LIBRARIES OF MEDICINE are service marks of the US Department of Health and Human Services | Copyright | Download PDF Reader