Tiny Tip Tuesday #32

Tiny Tip Tuesday #32

Response Bias in Surveys - V

Over the past few months, we've discussed various kinds of response bias that are common in surveys. The last item in the series is the opposite of neutral responses: extreme responses.

The tendency of respondents to choose the extreme positive or negative answer choices can make your survey data inaccurate and ineffective. You'd find these extreme responses mostly in rating scales, or in choices that have a range (disagree to agree, poor to excellent, extremely dissatisfied to highly satisfied, and so on). Researchers say these traits are culturally and educationally influenced.

Response bias tip #5: Dealing with extreme responses
  1. Choose your audience wisely, so you have the right people to survey.
  2. State the goal of your survey in the beginning itself, so your respondents know what you expect out of it.
  3. Structure and word your questions as clearly as possible.
  4. Avoid sensitive remarks or comments that respondents might find offensive.
  5. Do not blame anyone, so you can avoid instant emotional responses.
  6. Try to word your questions neutrally and without emotion.
  7. Add a variety of choices, and get feedback on your survey from people who have a variety of backgrounds, experiences, and so on, and make sure you're being inclusive.
  8. Randomize the answer choices, so your respondents won't follow a pattern.
Can you think of any other tips to tackle extreme responses? Let us know in the comments, and watch this space for a new topic.

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