KEY FEATURES: Introduces students to developing research questions and shows their importance in driving research design. Rarely taught topics, such as how to enter and clean data, offer students information missed in both research methods and statistics courses. Shows how to write up survey results for academic, business and nonprofit reports to alleviate the confusion students feel about how to write up findings. Rigorous treatment of sampling focuses on many sampling issues from probability theory to weighting. Offers the process of actually conducting a survey with advice on administering surveys, incentives, and improving response rates.

When Are Open-Ended Questions Used in Survey Research?

Erin Ruel

Given the strengths of closed-ended questions, why use open-ended questions in surveys? Open-ended questions are important in several situations: (1) when asking about a quantity, (2) following a closed-ended question to expand upon the closed-ended response, and (3) when the concept being observed is new and so potential responses are not yet known.

Open-ended questions may ask about quantities, such as “How many miles do you drive to work on a given day?” _____. Respondents are expected to fill in the blank with a number. This type of open-ended question is easy to code and use in quantitative analyses. This works well with dates, age, height, weight, income, and years of education, for example.

Open-ended questions provide ...

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