Include All Valid Response Options in Survey Questions

When creating survey questions, include all valid survey response options

Do you see a problem with this survey question?

What is your favorite fruit?

  • Apples
  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Peaches

There are several issues with the response options to the above question. What if respondents favor fruit like watermelon, raspberries, pineapple, etc.? There are so many kinds of fruits, yet this question does not allow respondents to select these options. A simple “other” response option could have been used, or an “other, please specify” option with a space for respondents to provide their own answer. Aside from the “other” response option, this question does not allow a respondent to select a “none of the above” option. Additionally, some questions should include response options “don’t know” and “not applicable.”

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