Precoded questions refer to survey items for which response categories may be identified and defined exhaustively, or very nearly so, prior to data collection activities. Precoding questions involves specifying the coding frame (i.e. the set of possible answers) and associating each response category within the frame with a value label (which is typically, but not necessarily, numeric).

The term precoded also refers to a type of question that is asked by interviewers as though it is an open-ended question, but it has precoded responses that interviewers are to use to match (code) respondents' answers rather than copy down the verbatim given by the respondent. This also is referred to as field coding.

The use of precoded questions delivers two important benefits to the survey researcher. First, their ...

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