Numeric items

One item type that is seemingly open-ended but is, in effect, closed-ended can be labeled as a numeric item. These items ask for a specific numeric value, such as the respondent's age in years, or the number of foreign languages spoken by a person. What makes these items similar to closed questions is that we can anticipate the range of the possible answers and the respondent's task is to specify a particular value within the anticipated range. We could, in fact, list, for example for the 'age' item, all the possible numbers (e.g., between 5 and 100) for the respondent to choose from (in a multiple-choice fashion) but this would not be space-economical. However, computerized, on-line questionnaires often do provide these options in a pull-down menu for the respondent to click on the selected answer.

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