Questionnaire design is a process where we get accurate answers from respondents and
makes it possible to analyse the responses to be used in making decisions. Being the
primary instrument of data collection in marketing research, it is vitally important to
the usefulness of the study. One of the foremost things to remember in questionnaire
design is that the respondent must understand what the question means, and therefore
the language used must be simple enough for the man on the street. Management jargon
or any other difficult words should be avoided unless there is an appropriate target
respondent. The purpose of a questionnaire is to collect data required from the target
respondents in the marketing research. The questionnaire must be easy to understand,
easy to fill and must fulfil its purpose.
SCALE OF MEASUREMENT USED IN MARKET SURVEY
Broadly, marketing survey uses the four major types of scales:
Nominal Scale-: A nominal scale is one in which numbers are only used as labels, and
have no numerical sanctity. For example, if we want to categorise male and female
respondents, we could use a nominal scale of 1 for male and 2 for female. Nominally
scaled variables cannot be used to perform many of the statistical computations such as
mean, standard deviation, mean deviation and so on.
Ordinal Scale-: Ordinal scale variables are ones which have a meaningful order to
them. These ranks are not interchangeable, as nominal scale labels are. This is because
rank 1 means it is ranked higher than rank 2. The statistics which can be used with the
ordinal scale are the median, various percentiles and rank order correlation.
Interval Scale-: Most of the behavioural measurement scales used to measure
attitudes of respondents on a scale of 1 to 5 or 1 to 7 or 1 to 10 can be treated as interval
scales. These types of scales also known as Rating Scale.
Ratio Scale-: All arithmetic operations are possible on a ratio-scaled variable. These
include computation of geometric mean, harmonic mean, standard deviation,
correlation, regression test, t-test and F-test.
TYPES OF QUESTIONS
Having looked at the four major scales lets us look at the six major types of questions
that most questionnaires would generally use:
Ratings or Rankings
Other Special Types of Scale
This is one which leaves it to the respondent to answer it as he chooses. An example is
“What do you think of the taste of Pepsi ?” . No alternatives are suggested. The answer
can be in the respondent’s own words.
These are questions which ask the respondent to choose between two given alternatives.
The most common example of this is the yes or no type of questions like” Are you a user
of brand X ? Yes or No are the alternatives given.
Multiple Choice Questions
These are extensions of dichotomous questions, except that the alternatives listed
number more than two. A common example is as follows:
Please tick against the factors which made you buy this brand of car:
(a) Reasonable Price
(b) Great Looks (Appearance)
(c) Fuel Economy
(d) Easy Availability of Services
In the above question, more than one category can be chosen. In some other multiple
choice questions, only one category is to be chosen. For example, look at the following
Please specify your age group:
(a) Below 15
(d) Above 40
A special type of question is the paired comparison. This requires the respondent to
choose between pairs of choices at a time. For example, there could be six brands of
colour TVs, brands A, B, C, D, E and F. A respondent may be asked to do a paired
comparison to say which brand is better, but for only two brands at a time.
Semantic differential is a type of a rating scale designed to measure the connotative
meaning of objects, events, and concepts. The connotations are used to derive the
attitude towards the given object, event or concept
Special Types Scale
There may be questions based on other scales which are standard or specially
constructed, scales like the Likert scale
A Likert item is simply a statement which the respondent is asked to evaluate according
to any kind of subjective or objective criteria; generally the level of agreement or
disagreement is measured. It is considered symmetric or "balanced" because there are
equal amounts of positive and negative positions. Often five ordered response levels are
used, although many psychometricians advocate using seven or nine levels.
The format of a typical five-level Likert item is:
1. Strongly disagree
3. Neither agree nor disagree
5. Strongly agree