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A closed-ended question is a question format that limits respondents with a list of answer choices from which they must choose to answer the question.[1] Commonly these type of questions are in the form of multiple choices, either with one answer or with check-all-that-apply, but also can be in scale format, where respondent should decide to rate the situation in along the scale continuum, similar to Likert questions.

Ordinal Scale questionsEdit

Further information: Likert scale

Respondents are asked to decide where they fit along a scale continuum. These questions contain an ordered set of answers. A common ordinal scale ask about levels of satisfaction.[1]

Other examplesEdit

A closed-ended question contrasts with an open-ended question, which cannot be answered with a simple "yes" or "no", or with a specific piece of information, and which gives the person answering the question scope to give the information that seems to them to be appropriate. Open-ended questions are sometimes phrased as a statement which requires a response.

Examples of open-ended questions:

  • Tell me about your relationship with your supervisor.
  • How do you see your future?
  • Tell me about the children in this photograph.
  • What is the purpose of government?
  • Why did you choose that answer?

At the same time, there are close-ended questions which are sometimes impossible to answer correctly with a yes or no without confusion, for example: "Have you stopped taking heroin?" (if you never took it), see "Loaded question".

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 Dillman D., Smyth J., & Christioan LM. (2009) Internet and Mixed-Mode Surveys. The Tailored Design Method. John Wiley & Sons. New Jersey
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