Specific instructions

Specific instructions explain and demonstrate how respondents should go about answering the questions. It is obvious that this is a crucial part. Each new task-type requires instructions, and in order to separate these instructions from the rest of the text, they should be graphically highlighted, for example by printing them in bold (just like the general instruction).

A very important role of the instructions is to explain how various rating scales (cf. Section 2.4.1) work and what the various rating criteria are. For example, if we ask the respondents to produce evaluations on a five-point scale (i.e., giving marks ranging from 1 to 5), we needs to explain very clearly what each numerical category stands for. Then, to avoid misunderstandings and mistakes, a short summary of this explanation will need to be repeated at least twice on each new page. Samples 2.2 and 2.3 on pages 28-29 provide examples of instructions for two common rating scale types (see also, Sample 2.4 on page 41).

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