Survey Question Miswording

Misworded Surveys

What you don’t know will hurt you!

Use NBRI’s knowledge and experience

to put power into your research!

Example: “I can always talk to my supervisor about work-related problems.”
Problem: Terms such as “always” and “never” will bias the response in the opposite direction.
Result: Data will be skewed.

Example: “Training and career planning are available to me.”
Problem: Double-barrel: training and career planning. Respondents may need to agree with one and not the other. Researcher cannot make assumptions about which part of the question respondents were rating.
Result: Data is useless.

Example: “Communication at work is good.”
Problem: Question is too broad. If score is less than 100% positive, researcher does not know what aspect of communication needs improvement.
Result: Data is of little or no usefulness.

Example: “The pace at our Company is hectic.”
Problem: The question is negative, and broadcasts a bad message about the Company.
Result: Data will be skewed, and the climate may be negatively impacted.