There is an art and a science to creating the perfect market research screener. Market researchers lean on several types of questions in their screeners to ensure what they’re asking is clear and intuitive. Doing so can give researchers confidence that respondents won’t be confused and provide answers that would need to be discounted. Below, you’ll find a brief synopsis of the types of questions in a market research screener and when they’re best used.
These questions are usually aimed to identify demographic, psychographic, or behaviors. All questions, research related or not, can be divided into 2 types.
Close-ended questions refer to a simple question that can be answered succinctly, and whose answers do not typically need to be elaborated on (like quantitative questions). Answers to these types of questions are typically provided in ranges on the screening tool.
Dichotomous questions, or Single Select questions, refer to the basic, yes or no type of question that has a binary answer. These types of questions are always blinded within other options to ensure the topic is not revealed.
Example: Do you do the majority of the cooking in your home?
Multiple Choice questions are not as binary as Dichotomous because they allow questions to be answered by more than a simple Yes or No. These questions also aim to understand the full picture.
Example: Which of the following fast-food chains have you purchased from in the past 6-months? Select all that apply…
Likert Scale type questions allow researchers to ask questions directly on a definitive (usually 5 or 7 point) scale. Researchers can tweak these slightly to find levels of Satisfaction, Levels of concern, Familiarity, Likelihood, and many more.
Q: How likely are you to vote in the next election?
A.) Will not be voting
B.) Not likely to vote
D.) Likely to vote
E.) Will be voting
Semantic Scale questions are like Likert Scale questions with less structure. In Semantic Scales questions, antonyms are put across from each other and respondents are asked to rate the point of interest on the scale
Good —0—0—0—0—0—0—0—0— Bad
Typically used in the Discussion Guide but sometimes in participant screeners:
Open ended questions are questions that allow respondents to answer freely, without predetermined answers to choose from. Often used as “articulation questions” in screeners, unstructured open-ended questions give the respondent the freedom to speak openly about the topic.
Example: What is something you’ve learned this past year?
Word Association questions & activities aid marketers in understanding not only the brand of interest’s market positioning, but also how their customers view their competitors.
Example: What brand comes to mind when I say the word “Distinguished”?
Much like Word Association, Sentence Completion allows the respondents to use their imagination to fill in the gaps. When done correctly, researchers get wonderful insight into what their respondents are looking for in their purchase.
Example: The next time I purchase a car, my non-negotiable is….
Effective Screeners are critical to including the appropriate person in your market research project!