Response Bias in Surveys - IV
We've been discussing various kinds of response bias in our previous tips in this series
. The fourth type of response bias we're going to look at is also the most common you'll see in surveys: neutral responses
Sometimes, respondents tend towards choosing only the neutral answer. This could be because they lose interest in the survey and want to quickly finish it off. These responses are damaging, as they are not truthful, and can skew your data.
Response bias tip #4: Dealing with neutral responses
- Send the survey only to respondents who will find it relevant. This might mean you need to create different surveys for different segments of your email list or customer base.
- Randomize the answer options, so your respondents don't follow a pattern while answering.
- Make your survey as short as possible, so the participants won't lose interest.
- Make your questions short and simple.
- Ask the right questions and add choices that are relevant so there is no need for a neutral choice to be made. You could also add a Not Applicable option for your respondents to choose instead of a neutral choice.
- State the objectives of your survey at the beginning; let your respondents know what to expect out of it.
Can you think of other ways to deal with neutral responses? Let us know in comments.