How will the placement of demographic questions affect participant responses in surveys?

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Demographics are an important consideration in research. When conducting surveys, it is always a good idea to include questions about the participants' demographics (age, gender, race, income, etc.) in order to get a general idea of their lifestyles and commonalities. One common questions however, is regarding where in a survey is the best place for these demographic questions in order to optimize participant responses.

Some believe that the beginning of the survey is the best place for the demographic questions because that way the respondent is more likely to answer them as opposed to after completing a long survey.

Others believe that the end of the survey is the best place for the demographic questions because if the participants are exposed to the demographic questions before viewing the rest of the survey, they may be inclined to be lest honest in their responses due to the fear that they will be considered a stereotype.

Research supports both viewpoints to be valid depending on the situation. Richard N. Landers breaks it down for us in his article: Where to Place Demographics on Your Surveys. It is important to know exactly what your survey is trying to accomplish before deciding on the best placement for demographic questions. This will aid in receiving more honest and complete responses from participants.

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This page contains a single entry by homut011 published on December 5, 2012 2:40 PM.

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