What is the difference between open ended and closed ended survey questions?

Open-ended Versus Closed-ended Survey Questions

By Miranda B

A survey consists of two types of questions: open-ended and closed-ended. Utilize the different types of questioning for individual portions of your survey to get the best possible response and feedback.

Open-ended questions allow the responder to answer with a more personalized answer. When creating a survey, using this type of questioning allows the surveyor to identify future questions or topics for additional surveys. When answered, open-ended questions offer a more personalized response and the opportunity for the respondent to add comments unasked in the survey itself.
Types of open-ended questions include:
How do you feel about a product/issue?
What is your thoughts about XYZ?
Do you have any suggestions for management/staff?
A concern with open-ended questions is with the increased amount of time the respondent will be expected to take to answer these questions, which often times means the respondent will skip these questions and leave them blank.

Closed-ended questions are those that can be answered with a set answer, such as true/false, yes/no, birth date, gender, or occupation. Closed-ended questions range from circling a response to filling in a single blank. These questions provide you with a definite answer, and they are more likely to be answered since they require very little effort. However, this type of questioning limits the answer choices and provides no more feedback than the basic answer.

Survey Frequently Asked Questions

How do you find fun surveys on the net?

Why shouldn't you give personal information when dealing with survey sites?

Why is it good to take online surveys?

What is a type of survey scam?

Do you need to pay to enter survey sweepstakes?

Why should you not take a survey emailed to you?

Why are brand surveys fun?

Why is it good to run surveys online?

Why would you need a survey company?

Why should you open surveys that are emailed to you?

Where can you find free survey data on the net?

What should you pay attention to when using survey data from the web?

Why should you pay attention to the source of the interet survey?

Where can you find survey samples?

What should you include in your survey introduction?

Should you pay a fee to do surveys online?

Why should you use a phone survey company?

How do you block unsolicited survey calls?

What are open ended questions?

What are close ended questions?

What are ways survey companies can scam you?

Where can you find legitimate paid surveys?

How can you search for paying surveys online?

How can you get paid for web blogs?

What incentives do companies offer people for taking surveys?

Can you support yourself only doing paid surveys?

What are satisfaction surveys?

Why would you want your identity to be secret on a survey?

How can you join a survey panel?

How can you get paid safely doing surveys?

What are opinion surveys?

What are public opinion surveys?

Why is it important to cover all sides of a topic for your survey?

What are interest surveys?

How do companies make you take interest surveys without knowing it?

What should you look out for when taking web interest surveys?

What are quantitative & qualitative survey questions?

Why shouldn't you just survey random people for marketing strategies?

What are types of brand survey questions you should ask a target audience?

Why shouldn't you fudge survey data?

How should you write focus group introductions?

Why shouldn't you test too complex a topic for your survey?

What is a survey consultant?

Do survey companies own your data?

Why shouldn't you trust references on paid survey sites?

Why would you add media or video files to a survey?

Why should you go to straight to the source when surveying people?

What is a survey supply you should always have on hand?

Why should you research the brand before you create a survey for it?

What does a taste test have to do with a survey?

What are general customer satisfaction survey questions you should ask?

What are the benefits of some food customer satisfaction surveys?

How can taking a survey help you see a movie for free?

What are employee satisfaction sureys?

Why are employee satisfaction surveys confidential?

What is a 360 survey?

What is an employee retention survey?

What is an employee engagement survey?

What is an employee opinion survey?

Why would you need to take a quick employee opinion survey?

Why would you use an outside company to do employee surveys?

Why should you review surveys before sending them out?

What is a great way to proof surveys?

Why should your survey maintain an order?

Why shouldn't you use big words in your survey?

What is wrong with asking a leading question in your survey?

Why shouldn't you create complex questions for your survey?

What is the maximum amount of answers you should have for multiple choice questions?

Why should you keep survey questions current?

Why would you look in magazines for survey samples?

What should you look for when choosing a survey data analysis company?

Why type of math do you need to know to analyze survey data?

Why should you use visuals for your survey data presentation?

When should you use PowerPoint?

How can running an online survey save you money?

Why would you need to code your answers?

What features should you look for when choosing web survey software?

Why isn't free survey software totally free?

How do I unsubscribe?

Why would I unsubscribe?

How can I unsubscribe to all the survey sites at the same time?

What are the drawbacks of unsubscribing?

What other ways can I unsubscribe?

Why should I participate in surveys?

How can I attract more suitable surveys?

How do I participate in surveys?

What types of surveys are available?

How can I be in targeted surveys?

What is a privacy policy?

What is e-mail confirmation?

How do panelists need to be discreet?

What are the consequences to panelists who are indiscreet?

What are the consequences to companies who violate privacy policies?

What are the privacy policies for children?

Who can see your personal information?

What information is collected from my computer?

Why is confidentiality so important?

What is Spam?

How do I know if a message is spam?

Why Do Requested Messages Get Mixed in With Spam in the Junk Mail Folder?

How do I set up an e-mail spam filter?

How do I report spam?

How do I set up a safe list?

What is a black list?

What is the anti-spam law?

What is the difference between open ended and closed ended survey questions?

In what way can I get more people to respond to a mailed survey?

Not finding the advice and tips you need on this Survey Tip Site? Request a Tip Now!

Guru Spotlight
Susan Sayour