Explain the different types of questions in psychology research?

The different types of questions are:

Contingency questions:

A question that is answered only if the respondent gives a particular response to a previous question. This avoids asking questions of people that do not apply to them.

Matrix questions:

Identical response categories are assigned to multiple questions. The questions are placed one under the other, forming a matrix with response categories along the top and a list of questions down the side. This is an efficient use of page space and respondents time.

Closed ended questions:

Respondents answers are limited to a fixed set of responses. Most scales are closed ended. Other types of closed ended questions include:

  • Yes/No questions: The respondent answers with a “yes” or a “no”.
  • Multiple choice: The respondent has several option from which to choose.
  • Scaled questions: Responses are graded on a continuum (example: rate the appearance of the product on a scale from 1 to 10, with 10 being the most preferred appearance). Examples of types of scales include the Likert scale, semantic differential scale, and rank-order scale (See scale for a complete list of scaling techniques.).

Open-ended questions:

No options or predefined categories are suggested. The respondent supplies their own answer without being constrained by a fixed set of possible responses. Examples of types of open ended questions include:

  • Completely unstructured: For example, What is your opinion on questionnaires?
  • Word association: Words are presented and the respondent mentions the first word that comes to mind.
  • Sentence completion: Respondents complete an incomplete sentence. For example, “The most important consideration in my decision to buy a new house is . . .”
  • Story completion: Respondents complete an incomplete story.
  • Picture completion: Respondents fill in an empty conversation balloon.
  • Thematic apperception test: Respondents explain a picture or make up a story about what they think is happening in the picture.
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