Things You Should Know About Open & Close Ended Questions(Research)

Many countries adopt a culture of research. This research provides solutions to many problems. Researchers ask questions to find solutions to such problems. Good questions increase the chances of correct answers whereas bad questions give poor answers. Often these questions are of two kinds. : Open and closed questions.

Researchers use them to gather data for research. These two are vastly different from each other. The researcher needs to understand the differences between them. It also increases the chances of getting objective responses from the audience. In this article, we explain both types of questions. We also share their pros and cons. It increases the understanding of the reader about both of them.

Close-ended questions

These questions limit the responses of the audience. It means that respondents have to choose the answer from specific options only. They cannot give answers apart from the options available. Researchers use it in quantitative research. It helps in gathering statistical information. The researcher also uses it to collect data from a large audience.

Pros

Simple: 

It is easy for the respondents to answer these questions. They don’t have to ensure preparation for answering the questions. They share their honest answers in a simple form. It also makes work easy for the researchers. This is because they can analyze the data. They don’t have to spend a lot of time on the conduction of analysis.

Engaging:

Simple questions increase reader engagement. They don’t have to spend a lot of time thinking. These questions are specific too. Many questions relate to them directly and are easy to answer. For example, a question asks employees to rate the performance of a marketing manager. Close-ended questions are also engaging. This is why readers don’t show any concern about answering them. 

Restricts subjectivity:

It does not allow the respondent to share his/her opinion. These questions restrict them to answer through the given option only. It makes analysis easy for the researchers. It is the biggest advantage of using close-ended questions. Respondents are not free to answer what they want. It also decreases the variation of the data.

Cons

Forced responses:

Sometimes, options of close-ended questions are not relevant for the respondent. It means that they might want to choose another option. In that case, they can select random options. This heavily affects the results of the study. Forced responses are considered the biggest disadvantage of close-ended questions.

Frustration:

According to a dissertation help firm, a list of questions frustrates the respondents. Their interest in giving the answers might decrease too. They start answering the questions without reading them. This happens in the case of close-ended questions. This is because the participants can’t share their opinions. Researchers at times fail to consider this while making the close-ended questions.

Misunderstandings:

Respondents may not understand the questions. But a researcher cannot identify this. They don’t talk about the questions. Respondents only answer the questions without understanding them. This problem is not easy to identify. This is because respondents don’t share their views about the questions. It is good to ask them questions. Otherwise, the results will be affected in the end.

Open-ended questions:

It doesn’t limit the answers of the respondents. They can share their views openly. They are not bound to select the available options. Respondents can share broad answers too. It presents better information about the issue. These questions explore their feelings in general. They share their views about the issue. These questions increase understanding of that particular issue. These questions help in finding solutions to the problems. It should be noted that open-ended questions are highly important in qualitative studies.

Pros

Emotions:

It is important to know about the emotions of the people. Open-ended questions allow the participants to share their emotions. They share information about a specific issue in this manner. They also help identify factors that the researchers fail to notice. Open-ended questions invite them to say whatever they want. The participants also feel confident by answering such questions. It is better to ensure this. In the end, this will increase the chances of getting good insights.

Increases trust:

It increases the trust of a respondent in the researcher. They think that you’re giving them attention. They feel comfortable while answering you. Trust plays a vital role in the aspect of research. Its significance increases when it comes to data collection. Trust allows people to share their views. Otherwise, they get worried about sharing any kind of information. Open-ended questions help a researcher in building positive relationships with the participants.

Deep understanding of the topic:

It increases understanding of the topic. Such questions explore important points about the topic. But it is important to know the main issue as well. These questions ask respondents to show the depth of an issue. These questions drag the answers. It is good to explore these social issues in detail.

Cons

Coding:

You get answers in the form of audio. You transcribe these audios into a written form. Then you have to do coding of the data. This is not an easy task. It takes a lot of hard work and time. These codes lead your study. Open-ended questions provide a large amount of data. You have to read your data again and again to ensure the identification of codes. It should be noted that coding is not an easy task to perform in general.

Time taking:

Answering open-ended questions need a lot of time. People are very busy nowadays. They might not have the time to answer your questions. This is a major disadvantage. It is due to the fact that it’s not easy to take time from the respondents.

Not practical for large groups:

It isn’t easy to collect data from a large sample. This is a major drawback of such questions. You can collect data from a small sample. Then you can generalize it to the bigger population. They are also better suited for finding and evaluating social issues.

Conclusion

Researchers collect data to find the answers to their studies’ questions. They collect data by using open and close-ended questions. Close-ended questions are simple and engaging. In contrast, it limits the opinions of the respondent. They may not understand the questions. They might also answer without understanding them properly. Open-ended questions invite the opinions of the respondents. They don’t limit the respondents’ views. Such types of questions highlight the different views of respondents instead. It increases the understanding of a specific issue. But it is time-consuming too. It is also not possible to ask these questions from large sample sizes. Hence, both question types have their own pros and cons. Researchers can select the one that suits their research the most.

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