In the previous post we talked about using an even number of items in your response scales to remove any “neutral” response – so now let’s talk about the other types of “non-response response” – the (very very careful) use of “N/A” (“Not Applicable”) or “I Don’t Know”.
I won’t go into great detail as to whether any given survey question addresses opinion or fact as I’ve covered that in Question Scales Part 1: Should I use an even or odd number of response options?, but clearly this is where you start, as “I Don’t Know” doesn’t make any sense on a question about opinion. (I don’t know my opinion? You might not have one, but that is something else and we’ll cover that below.)
Hope this was of help, but as always give us a shout if you would like to discuss!
Next up – Question Scales Part 3: How many response options should I have, and what is a Just Noticeable Difference? (JND)
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Maureen Simons is a senior human resources and communication consultant with over 25 years of experience helping clients achieve their business and organizational objectives through their people. (Linkedin)
Adam Hunter has a Bachelors degree in Mechanical Engineering, an MBA, and 35+ years of technical and programming experience, resulting in a broad mix of analytical, statistical, project-related and business skills. (Linkedin)