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Open-Ended Question Market Research

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Open-Ended Question Market Research

An open-ended question is often used in market research to illicit a fuller response from a respondent and to encourage them to give more of their own thoughts and feelings. It is a question which has no fixed response - i.e. the question is left 'open' for the respondent to give as little or as much as they feel is necessary to answer, as opposed to a closed-question which would give a number of responses to choose from.

Examples of open-ended questions might include:

  • Tell me about the tennis shoes you currently wear.
  • How do you feel about your future career prospects?

Open-ended questions can also be used to illicit a further response following a closed-ended question. For instance:

Q. Do you think video games encourage violence in children?

A. Yes / No / Don't Know

Q. Why do you say that?
 

The above set of questions would allow the researcher to say exactly how many people within the sample felt video games did or didn't encourage violence in children, and also to suggest some of the reasons behind these thoughts. These reasons could then potentially be used to promote video games in a way that portrayed them in a different way to counteract the opinions held by these respondents.

Open-ended questions, their inclusion and uses are a feature of questionnaire design, a service offered by DJS Research Ltd.

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