How To Write Good Items

Over the past 50 years, survey researchers have accumulated a considerable body of knowledge and experience about what makes a questionnaire item good and what the potential pitfalls are. However, most specialists also emphasize that question design is not a 100%

scientific activity because in order to write good items one also needs a certain amount of creativity and lots of common sense. Furthermore, alternative versions of questions must be rigorously piloted because in the absence of hard and fast theoretical rules, "tests of practicability must play a crucial role in questionnaire construction" (Moser & Kalton, 1971, p. 350)

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