Close ended questions are questions with a limited range of answers.
They are the direct opposite of open-ended questions, where respondents have an unlimited range of answers. Some examples of close ended questions are:
- Is Abuja the capital of Nigeria? (The answer to this is a yes or no).
- When is your birthday? (The only answer to this is your date of birth).
- Can you drive? (The answer to this is also yes or no).
- Have you started? (The answer to this is also yes or no).
- Do you want more? (The answer to this is also yes or no).
- Can you lead the team? (The answer to this is also yes or no).
This article looks at the pros of close-ended questions. It also explains the types and the difference between close-ended questions and open-ended questions.
Advantages of Close Ended Questions
For individuals skeptical about using close-ended questions for surveys, we discuss some of the pros in this section.
It Provides Better Clarity
Compared to open-ended questions, close-ended questions offer more clarity. This is because the answers hardly go beyond the preset range of responses.
Therefore, close-ended questions favor the respondent because they usually provide clearer, refined answers. More often than not, close-ended questions can be answered quickly; thus, it reduces the response time.
It Offers Relevant Answers
The answers respondents provide are hardly irrelevant. The options are limited, meaning you are less likely to have respondents giving irrelevant answers to your survey.
It Is Easy to Answer
Open-ended questions leave respondents scratching their heads to provide answers most of the time. This problem is absent in close ended questions. Respondents don’t have to look for extraneous information to answer the question.
The Result Is Easy to Analyze
Another big advantage is that you’ll find it easier to analyze results from open-ended surveys. You can easily represent the result using charts, graphs, and tables.
Types of Closed-Ended Questions
Although they all follow the same pattern of restricted answer options, close-ended questions are of different types.
Lickert Scale Questions
This type of question measures respondents’ attitudes about a particular topic. It usually measures the extent to which respondents agree or disagree with a particular statement.
Dichotomous questions are classic examples of close-ended questions. Respondents only have to choose from one of two options. The choice could be yes/no, true/false, or agree/disagree. It is the easiest type of question. Survey makers like asking dichotomous questions because they are easy to analyze.
Multiple Choice Questions
This type of question offers more than two options. There are two types of multiple-choice questions — radio choice and checkboxes.
1. Radio Choice
For radio choice, respondents are only allowed to pick one of the provided answers. Setting up your question this way means there’s only one preferred answer per question.
2. Check Boxes
Checkboxes allow respondents to choose more than one answer. Typically, respondents are asked to select all options that apply to them according to the question.
Rating Scale Questions
This question type helps survey makers understand how customers feel about a particular product or service. The question is usually presented on a scale of one to five. You shouldn’t ignore this type of question because it is one of the best ways to get customers’ feedback.
Ranking Order Questions
This type of question allows respondents to rank multiple options in a specific order. This type of question basically asks participants to evaluate various items in a particular order.
Difference Between Open-Ended and Close-Ended Questions
Divided into different parts, this section explains the difference between the two types of questions.
The purpose of using close-ended questions to collect data is to offer pre-determined and limited response options to respondents. On the other hand, open-ended questions bring about a comprehensive answer based on people’s opinions and feelings.
The type of answers given to close-ended questions is typically factual and short. For open-ended questions, the answers are explanatory and descriptive.
Close-ended questions start with words like “can,” “is,” “did,” and “who.” Open-ended questions start with words like “why,” “how,” and “what.”
Type of Data Collected
If you need quantitative data, close-ended questions are the right choice. When you require qualitative data, open-ended questions are your best bet.
Open-ended questions require you to think hard, while close-ended questions leave nothing to the imagination. Close-ended questions are also easy to answer, which allows you to be more concise and efficient.
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