January 5, 2007, Newsletter Issue #45: Leading Could Hurt Learnings

Tip of the Week

“Objection! Leading the witness!” A very common phrase used in the courtroom, but it can also relate to surveys. Leading is when a question is phrased in such a way that it forces a specific answer from the person. Biased questions can result in skewed survey results, so try to be objective as possible when phrasing your question.

Here are two versions of the same sample survey question:Research has shown babies should have vegetables at least 5 times a day, how often do you feed your baby veggies? How many servings of vegetables do you serve your baby per day?

The first question would lead a responder to answer with a higher number that may or may not be the true answer. Survey questions should be more straightforward and allow the user to answer honestly.

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