The more one writes questionnaires the more one realises how little correlation there often is between participants’ answers and reality.

Often the way in which the question is asked contributes significantly to that. In this course we will look at some of the many issues and ways in which we can edge a little closer to measuring reality.



Who will benefit from this course?

This course is for researchers who have mastered the main techniques of questionnaire writing but have found that the more they know, the more that issues of reliability in responses are raised.

Aims and objectives
  • Understand and apply the more advanced principles of questionnaire design
  • Understand how to maximise the impact, engagement and worth of questionnaires
Topics covered and learning outcomes
  • Social desirability bias – people tell you what they think you want to hear. We’ll look at identifying it and dealing with it, in both behavioural and attitudinal questions.
  • Recall – participants can rarely tell you accurately what they have done. You’ll see how reliable is recall of behaviour and what can be done to improve it.
  • Data collection modes – different modes will give different responses. We’ll address why this happens and how we deal with the differences.
  • Scales – the type of scale used can lead to different conclusions. Discover the advantages and disadvantages of different scale types and achieving optimum discrimination.
  • Graphics – introduce graphics and you may change what you are measuring. Find out why and whether it is a good thing.
  • Indirect questions – using projective questions to get closer to the truth.
  • Engagement – keeping participants engaged improves the quality of the data. We’ll give you some tools to do that.
  • Translations – a common source of misunderstanding. - you may not be measuring what you think you are.
  • Cultural response bias – Different cultures respond differently, so comparing responses between countries can be a nightmare.

By agreeing to participate in this training course you also agree to download any software application(s) that are required for the fulfilment of the course.

“Exactly what I needed to learn.”

James Aspinall, TRP Research Ltd
28 September 2016

“Traditional, classroom theory based learning.”

Chris Rainsford, BMG Research
28 September 2016

“Overview of issues in questionnaire design with advice on solutions.”

Kate Roche, Datamoniter
22 April 2016

“Getting the best data from questionnaires.”

Nick Weston, Rainmakers CSI Ltd
22 April 2016


The Old Trading House, 15 Northburgh Street,London,EC1V 0JR

Ian Brace has spent over 40 years in market research, mostly as an agency researcher and most recently as Director of Research Methods for TNS UK. He is author of more than a dozen papers on a variety of topics, has been a regular conference speaker and is author of two books: ‘An Introduction to Market and Social Research’ and ‘Questionnaire Design’. The latter, first published in 2004, is now in its third edition and is available in four languages. The most recent edition was published in 2013. He is a Fellow of the MRS.

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